The Tufts’ women’s volleyball team lost to Hamilton 2–3 on Saturday, despite bringing strong energy to the court. Tufts’ second away game of the weekend began less than 24 hours after their loss against Middlebury on Friday night.
Though they lost, the Jumbos still had a strong game, scoring 81 total points to the Continentals’ 73. Tufts also had a strong offensive showing, with 62 kills.
Hamilton had a strong defense; Rileigh Farragher, senior setter and opposite hitter, explained that this made scoring on the Continentals difficult.
“They came out and played really consistent defense and really limited their errors,” Farragher wrote in an email to the Daily. “That meant that we were going to have to earn all of our points, they weren’t going to give us any, which caught up to us in the end.”
The game was exciting throughout all five matches, with neither team ever taking a truly decisive lead. Megan Harrison, senior defensive specialist and libero, explained that the Jumbos and Continentals were both excited to play against each other, and the tight scoring only heightened that.
“[Hamilton] came in super fired up, super ready to defend” Harrison said. “It was a really fun game to play. We both competed really well against each other.”
The first set set the pace for the rest of the game, with Hamilton winning by a close 22–25. The Continentals took four of the first five points, taking a lead that the Jumbos couldn’t catch up with.
The Jumbos truly found their stride in the second and third sets, which they won 25–20 and 25–14 respectively.
Harrison credits this to the teamwork and comradery throughout the game.
“This game, our energy was super consistent. We were super dialed in with each other,” Harrison said. “It was just a well-oiled machine. Even though we didn’t win, on the inside, it felt like we were working really well together.”
These successful sets were led by Alina Qi, junior opposite and middle hitter, who scored 17 points throughout the match.
But the Jumbos couldn’t keep their momentum up through the fourth and fifth sets. The Continentals won the fourth set 20–25, making the Jumbos’ lead a tie.
The fifth and final set started off close, but the Continentals pulled away. The result was a 12–15 final match, cementing Tuft’s loss against Hamilton.
Right now, the team’s record is 6–6 overall and 1–3 within the NESCAC, making it 10th in the NESCAC. Because of this, they are hoping to build on some of their skills in the following games.
Harrison believes that Tufts’ strong teamwork helped them in this match, and hopes that as the season progresses, the Jumbos use their combination of this camaraderie and skill to win more matches.
“It’s still early in the season, and we're just working out the kinks,” Harrison said. “We know that it’s all going to come together really soon and click.”
Tufts will travel to Waterville, Maine on Friday, where they’ll take on Colby College. In terms of more technical goals, the Jumbos hope to add more intentionality to their offense, Farragher explained.
“This Friday, we are really going to focus on limiting errors and being smarter when the play isn’t perfect,” Farragher wrote. “We like to run a very fast offense, which is great, but sometimes I think [we] get caught up in it and need to remember it's ok to slow the ball down and make a smart move.”