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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Women's sports winter break preview

Tufts senior forward Hayley Kanner goes up for a layup during the first half of Tufts' 88-48 victory over Fitchburg State on Saturday.

Women's Basketball

Currently in the midst of a seven-game winning streak to begin the season, the team is coming off an 88-48 thrashing of Fitchburg State, besting its season-high point total by 10 points. The team will take on Bridgewater State tomorrow at 7 p.m. before going on an extended break, playing its next regular season game on Dec. 28. The Jumbos are averaging a 25.4 point win margin, and hold a season average of 45 percent shooting from the floor while keeping opponents to just 34.8 percent field goal percentage.

The Jumbos are led this season by the tri-captaincy of seniors Hannah Foley, Hayley Kanner and Kelsey Morehead. Foley, a guard, is the team’s top scorer with 14.9 points per game, shooting 60.5 percent from 3-point range, and Kanner, a forward, is averaging 13.1 points per game. Morehead, the team's point guard, powers the team's high-assist offense with her 4.6 assists per game, while the Jumbos average a league-high 19.6 assists per game.

Tufts is ranked No. 3 nationally, but will face its first test in the NESCAC on Jan. 11 against Middlebury, just before the spring semester officially begins. The toughest matchup of the regular season will follow this game, with the team hosting Amherst on Jan. 16. Amherst is ranked No. 4 nationally, and was the 2013 NESCAC Champion.

"It's nice to have some time to rest our bodies before we get to the heart of our season," Foley said. "Right now we're a little banged up, we have a few injuries -- [sophomore forward/center] Michela [North] has a hurt ankle but she'll be back soon, [junior guard] Nicole [Brooks] and [senior forward] Hannah Artner have concussions, but with the two to three week break they should be totally fine. It's a great period of time to work on individual stuff -- we're not allowed to have official team practices, so for me personally, I try to work on finishing inside. Obviously, I like to shoot threes, but come next semester a lot of outside shots will be taken away from me, so [I'll be working on] my ball handling, finishing with contact and being more creative with driving."

Women's Swimming and Diving

The team began its season with two losses in the season-opening tri-meet against Keene State and Middlebury, despite winning three events: the 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly and three-meter dive. The Jumbos struggled in the MIT Invitational meet this weekend, finishing Day 2 of the competition in seventh place out of eight teams.

Tufts will be looking to build on the strong performances of several first-year and sophomore athletes, who displayed their potential during the opening tri-meet. First-year Kelsey Gallagher won the 200-yard backstroke with a 2:10.88 time after finishing second in the 100-yard back in 1:02.59 and classmate Anna Kimura narrowly took the 100 butterfly, beating out Middlebury's Meg Griffin by 0.34 seconds. Sophomore diver Kylie Reiman won the three-meter dive with 232.80 and came in second in the one-meter.

Tufts will resume its season with a dual meet against MIT on Jan. 17, looking to get back on track toward accomplishing its goal of a top-three finish at the NESCAC Championships in February. Despite the team's seventh place finish last year, Tufts will look to capitalize on improvements early in the season, such as the six first-place finishes against Middlebury, to drive the team's high hopes for the rest of the season.

Women's Track and Field 

This past weekend marked the start of the women's track and field season at the UMass Boston Indoor Open, offering a taste of the team's potentially dynamic contingent of athletes.

The highlight of the meet was junior Alexis Harrison's tie for second in the 60-meter dash with an 8.01 finish. She tied with Holy Cross senior Mackenzie Arndt in the final. Tufts junior Marilyn Allen also competed in the event, finishing sixth in the preliminaries (8.11) and just missing a podium spot at fifth in the final with a time of 8.12.

The non-scoring meet featured athletes from Div. I, II and III. Tufts did not compete as a full team, but had strong performances nonetheless.

Senior Lauren Gormer placed seventh in the 800-meter with a solid time of 2:22.99, but first-years stole the show this past weekend with Julia Prusaczyk finishing the 500-meter in 1:20.81, good for seventh place. Classmate Jennifer Sherwill notched a 35 feet 11 1/4 inch shot put throw to place ninth at the meet. In the weight throw, Amylee Anyoha led all Jumbos at 37 feet 6 3/4 inches, good for 11th place.

"This meet was huge as a meet to gauge for everyone where we're at, so a lot of [first-years] were able to show their abilities," Harrison said. "Winter break is key in our training -- it could really make or break [the season]. It's very important to stay on top of things, stay motivated over winter break and it can be hard for first-years to understand that. I have high hopes for the team and confidence that we can achieve our goals this season."

The Jumbos will be looking to continue their strong start at the Dartmouth Relays on Jan. 11, before hosting their first event of the season, Tufts Invitational I, on Jan. 17.

Women's Squash 

The women's squash team has had a busy winter season, finishing 2-8 in the 10 matches played in a three-week span, the most recent loss being a nail-biting 5-4 defeat at the hands of Colby. First-year Devin Mullaney won at the first position for Colby College to put the Mules up 1-0, but the team found itself in a must-win situation after dropping the next four games. Tufts senior tri-captains Paige Dahlman and Ann Bellinger won 3-1 and 3-2 in the second and third positions respectively, while first-years Lauren Banner and Anna Bezahler each won 3-0 in the fourth and fifth positions.

The Mules won the next three games to level at 4-4, and won the ninth spot by default as Tufts did not have a player to compete. The team has five new players this year, four of whom are first-years. All four have found themselves in the starting lineup due to the team's small roster.

Tufts will have a second opportunity to play Colby in the spring. The Jumbos will be bolstered by the return of former first position player and junior tri-captain Paget Stanco.

"[Colby] was our overall best match we've played as a team. Maybe not the individual matches were the best ones, but as a team it was by far the best we've played," Dahlman said. "Paget Stanco will be back next semester and [sophomore] Lynn Cheng will be back from an injury, [so] we'll have an even stronger, deeper ladder. Having both of them back next year, you'll see more Ws for us. This semester as a team we haven't been able to get as many wins as we would have liked, [but] I'm expecting that we'll do significantly better."

The team will resume its season on Jan. 13 at Bates.