Volleyball season concludes in NESCAC championship quarterfinal

Photo by Josh McKee
Photo by Josh McKee

Tufts University's Maddie Stewart made a match-high 13 kills and the nationally ranked No. 14 Jumbos defeated the Hamilton College Continentals in three sets in a 2019 NESCAC Volleyball Championship quarterfinal at Tufts' Cousens Gymnasium on Friday night.

Hamilton was the eighth seed in the championship and concluded its 2019 campaign with a 10-14 overall record. Top-seeded Tufts (25-1 overall) won by set scores of 25-13, 25-14 and 25-12 and advanced to the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m.

Deirdre Corrigan '23 led the Continentals with seven kills and three blocks at the net. Jo Dine '22 had 18 assists and 10 digs and Nikki Matsuoka '21 picked up 11 digs. Dine ranks fifth in the conference with 6.80 assists per set and Matsuoka is third on the NESCAC leaderboard with 443 digs and an average of 5.54 per set.

Giuliana Rankin '20 was held to a season-low four kills. Rankin leads the conference with 289 kills and an average of 3.61 per set. The outside hitter concluded her Hamilton career with 841 kills, putting her in fifth place on the program's all-time list. Kristen Selden '09 is fourth with 855 kills.

Defensive specialist and two-time captain Kendall Searcy '20 helped the defense with five digs and concluded her career with 591 for an average of 2.56 digs per set.

Stewart boasted a .524 hitting percentage along with her 13 kills. Jennifer Ryan recorded seven kills and three blocks, Rachel Furash distributed 18 assists and Stephanie Lee had 22 digs.

The Jumbos jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the first set before Hamilton clawed back to within three points at 10-7. The Continentals were still within three points until Tufts scored five straight for a 17-9 lead. Cate Desler served the final five points of the set including two aces during the run.

Set two was tied 1-1 and 2-2 prior to Tufts going on a 20-7 run. A kill by Rankin pulled Hamilton within 12 points at 22-10 and the Continentals followed with three more unanswered points on two Tufts attack errors and a kill by Corrigan. Corrigan slammed another kill and drew Hamilton within nine at 23-14, but the Jumbos closed out the set with a kill and service ace.

Tufts built a 7-2 cushion in the third and the Continentals were unable to get closer than four points throughout the rest of the final set.