Coach Kate Bayard speaks with her team before the women's tennis home game against Williams at the Voute Tennis Courts on April 28, 2018. Ben Kim /The Tufts Daily

While we were away

While we were away, many of the Jumbos’ seasons stretched into the summer. Here’s what went down:

Postseason success for women’s tennis

After finishing its regular season with an impressive 11–5 record and respectable performances in the NESCAC and NCAA tournaments, two members of the women’s tennis team progressed to the NCAA Individual Championships in Claremont, Calif. Senior Mina Karamercan had a marathon day on May 24, beginning with her first-ever NCAA singles competition win when she decisively defeated 2018 Washington University in St. Louis graduate Grace Deering, 6–1, 6–4. However, Karamercan then fell to conference rival Juli Raventos of Williams’ class of 2018, ranked third nationally, 6–3, 6–4.

Karamercan also partnered with classmate Otilia Popa to duel the Emory duo of sophomore Ysabel Gonzalez-Rico and 2018 graduate Bridget Harding, falling 7–5, 7–6 (2). Popa and Karamercan finished out their season ranked fourth nationally as a pair, earning them All-American honors for doubles, with Karamercan acheiving All-American honors in singles, as well. All but two members of Tufts’ squad return this year, posing a serious threat to the NESCAC.

Duvivier leaves Tufts on high note

Tufts men’s track and field tied for 42nd out of the 90 teams that placed at the NCAA Div. III Championships over the weekend of May 24. Unfortunately for the Jumbos, co-captain Drew DiMaiti (LA ’18) did not qualify for the final round of the 400-meter hurdles, as his time of 54.83 seconds fell short of the time needed to qualify for the May 26 final. Seniors Henry Hintermeister and Josh Etkind also failed to qualify for the finals of the javelin throw or the 110-meter hurdles respectively.

Stefan Duvivier (LA ’18) was the only Jumbo at the competition who qualified for the finals in his event, the high jump. He took second in the event, clearing 2.15 meters. Duvivier earned the Jumbos’ only eight points at the competition. He ended his Tufts career on a high note with his second-place finish, carrying with him an indoor track title for the high jump and three All-American honors.

The women’s team also competed in the NCAA Div. III Championships from May 24–26 but failed to record any team points. Co-captain Brittany Bowman (LA ’18) came close to earning team points for the Jumbos in the 10,000 meters but was just outside the eighth-place finish necessary to earn points — she placed 11th with a time of 37:29.71. Bowman also ran the 5,000-meter event, finishing 17th with a time of 18:16.46. Co-captain Annalisa DeBari (E ’18), the only other Jumbo competing at the meet, did not advance to the finals of the 100-meter hurdles, as she placed 18th with a time of 15.26 seconds in the preliminaries.

Berube leads USA U-17s to earn gold

Women’s basketball coach Carla Berube headed to Minsk, Belarus from July 2129 with the United States U-17 national team for the World Cup Tournament. The American squad was almost identical to the one Berube led to gold at the 2017 FIBA U-16 Women’s Americas Championship in Argentina. The 2018 squad did not disappoint, as they finished on top once again, defeating France 92–40 in the final.

The committee who named the team did a great job combining our talent from last year’s team with a crop of new players that really helped enhance the squad,” Berube said. “Each game we had a margin of victory of over 30 points, everyone got to play a great amount of minutes and the team shared the ball incredibly well. Most importantly, we came together as a team, enjoyed the incredible journey and left Belarus with memories to last a lifetime.”

Bigelow retires after 43 years of service

Tufts swimming and diving coach Nancy Bigelow retired this past June after a combined 43 years of inspiring young swimmers. Over her 33 seasons as head coach of the women’s team and additional three seasons as associate head coach for both the men’s and women’s teams, Bigelow transformed the Jumbos’ program drastically. As head coach from 1982 to 2015, her teams earned a .692 winning percentage, while Bigelow herself coached and mentored 44 All-Americans and 18 New England/NESCAC champions. As she closes this chapter of her life, she leaves the Tufts program with both forward momentum and valuable life lessons.

“Nancy very often signed off her emails to our team members, ‘Keep smiling,’ swimming and diving head coach Adam Hoyt said. “I think that was a motto for her: just be happy with who you are and don’t let anything else dictate your happiness.”

Bigelow was often recognized for her superb leadership, as she was named New England Coach of the Year thrice and was a two-time NESCAC Coach of the Year honoree. Bigelow also earned the CSCAA Richard E. Steadman Award, the 2008 Massachusetts State Lottery and Boston College Athletics Heights Award and the 2006 CSCAA Master and Distinguished Coach award during her career.

More important than her winning percentage and hardware, though, was Bigelow’s outsized impact on Tufts swimmers and divers.

“Once you’ve been coaching for 36 years, you’re certainly more than just a coach,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt and many student-athletes at Tufts consider Bigelow extended family. Though she will be missed greatly, her legacy will live on in the Jumbos’ swimming and diving program.

Travers selected as NCAA Woman of the Year nominee

Former Tufts field hockey forward Mary Travers (LA ’18) was selected to represent the NESCAC as a NCAA Woman of the Year nominee in June. Each year, the NCAA recognizes graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves through academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership.

“I was honored that I got the nomination,” Travers said. “But I think what’s most special about it is that in my field hockey career at Tufts, I’ve had coach Tina McDavitt [Mattera] and assistant coach Maya Herm as really strong female leaders for me. To be able to conclude my time at Tufts with the nomination having had a lot of strong women empowering me along the way was really special.”

Throughout her collegiate career, Travers’ talents shined in many settings. On the field, she led the Jumbos to four NESCAC tournament appearances, including an immensely successful 2016 season in which the Jumbos won the NESCAC title and advanced to the NCAA championship game. She was a two-time NFHCA All-American and a two-time All-NESCAC First Team honoree.

Travers’ accomplishments off the field are equally impressive: four-time Dean’s List student, TEDxTufts speaker, Tisch Fund for Civic Engagement recipient and Meghan A. Carleton Grant recipient. But it was Travers’ passion for art history and French literature that took her far and wide, and she plans to continue her academic exploration by pursuing a master’s degree in arts and religion at Yale University this fall.

As for her collegiate achievements, stay tuned for the announcement of the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year on Oct. 28 in Indianapolis, Ind.

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