NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Connecticut College volleyball team fell to first-place Tufts by a 3-1 score on Friday evening at the Luce Field House. Set scores were 22-25, 20-25, 25-22 and 16-25.
In the first set, both teams went on runs to prompt each side to take all of their timeouts during the frame. Tufts jumped ahead by a 9-4 score on a service ace by Heather Holz, but the Camels responded with seven unanswered to move ahead by two. Sophomore Grace McGee (Portland, Ore.) recorded a kill to put the hosts ahead before setting up senior Belinda Mullally (Garden Grove, Calif.) for another point. After taking a timeout, the Jumbos recovered and built up a 19-13 lead on a Camel ballhandling error to prompt another break. Connecticut College then regrouped and went on an 8-1 run to move ahead by a 21-20 score on a Jumbo service error, but the lead was unfortunately short-lived. Tufts broke a 22-all tie and won the set by getting three straight kills from three different players.
After the Jumbos took the second set by leading from wire-to-wire, Connecticut College stormed back in the third frame to stay in the game by bursting out to a 14-7 lead on a kill by junior Maddie Rust (Austin, Texas). Even though Tufts was able to move ahead by a 21-19 score, the Camels stayed alive with freshman Katie Howley (Marshfield, Mass.) most notably hammering home a kill shortly after coming off the bench to give the hosts a 22-21 edge. Junior Jenny Kellogg (Los Altos, Calif.) and senior Sam Hunter added back-to-back kills to give Connecticut College the set win and extend the match at the time before the visitors fought back to take the fourth and final frame and stay unbeaten in league play.
Tufts (19-5, NESCAC 9-0) got a balanced effort from its roster and most notably had five players notch at least seven kills. Rachel Furash came close to a triple-double by contributing 24 assists, 11 digs and seven kills, while Brigid Bell and Mackenzie Bright added 11 kills apiece. Bell also notched a double-double by finishing with 10 digs.
Connecticut College (13-9, NESCAC 2-7) was paced by Hunter's double-double effort, as the senior recorded 12 kills and 13 sigs. McGee finished with a game-high 39 assists, and Kellogg had a solid all-around night with 14 digs, seven kills and one block.
The Camels will close out their 2017 campaign tomorrow afternoon when they host Bowdoin at 2:30 p.m. Seniors Caroline Branigan (Pacific Palisades, Calif.), Katia Elisman (Lake Forest, Ill.), Hunter and Mullally will be recognized for their contributions to the program prior to the match.