MEDFORD, Mass. – After jumping out to a commanding 1-0 lead, the host Jumbos of Tufts University came storming back to defeat the Beacons by the final of 3-1 Saturday afternoon in Cousens Gymnasium in the semi-final round of the NCAA Tournament.
UMass Boston 1, Tufts University 3
UMass Boston (29-5)
Tufts University (26-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons powered past the top-seeded Jumbos in the first set on their way to a 25-20 win. In the second, the Beacons early momentum came to a grinding halt, as Tufts held UMass to a .038 hitting percentage to earn a 25-16 win. The Jumbos would then pound the Beacons in the third set, as they hit .360 to the Beacons .030 to take a 2-1 lead with a 25-11 victory. The fourth and final frame as a back-and-forth affair that could have gone either way. The Beacons spent a majority of the frame playing catch up but they did manage to tie the Jumbos at 19-19 thanks to a kill by Julia Murphy.
From there Tufts would regain their composure and would score four straight points to take a 24-19 lead. Down but not out, the Beacons came clawing back as they cut the Jumbos lead to four on a service error. They then made it a three point game, thanks to an attack error by Tufts. The Beacons final point of the 2016 season came from Eileen Shi (San Francisco, Calif.) which made it 24-22. Unfortunately that late run was stopped by a kill by Elizabeth Ahrens as the Jumbos secured their spot in tomorrow's championship match.
Tufts will face Springfield College on Sunday at 1 p.m. with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division III National Tournament in Wisconsin.
Offensively the Beacons struggled for most of the match, as they managed to hit just .106 in the contest. They were also credited with 12 service errors in the tough loss. Murphy and Rachel Maslach (Berlin City, Ohio) each finished with seven kills, while Shi posted a team-high eight.
Senior setter Pepper Baker (Tallahassee, Fla.) finished with 14 digs, and a pair of aces, while Christina Elliott (Camas, Wash.) combined for 16 helpers. Senior Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.) ended the match with 25 digs to cap-off one of the greatest careers by any Beacons player.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Beacons 29 wins this season marked the most successful campaign since the 2010 season when the Beacons posted a 30-5 record
- UMass Boston is now 10-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament
- The Beacons will graduate four seniors in Murphy, Glavan, Baker and Colleen Koen (Centerville, Mass.)
- The Beacons semi-final appearance marked their first since the 2013 season