CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Haverford College Volleyball team (24-5) swept past UMass-Boston (14-13) in its NCAA First Round Contest on Friday evening at the Rockwell Cage on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prevailing by set scores of 25-8, 25-17, 26-24. The victory is Haverford's first in the NCAA tournament since a 2014 First Round victory over SUNY New Paltz. Senior Dina Kosyagin tallied 11 kills to pace the Fords, while senior Sara Hunsberger added 28 assists. First year Juliet Young tallied 15 digs while the blocking effort of first years Taylor Jones and Jadyn Elliott along with sophomore Abby Holland helped pave the way for the Fords.
Haverford sprinted out on a 10-2 run to begin the match, prompting a timeout from the Beacons as Téa Kuzbari excelled at the service line, delivering two aces in that stretch. Kuzbari finished with a match-best four service aces. Another UMass-Boston timeout came as Kendall Otridge and Hunsberger found the floor in succession, with Haverford out to a blazing start and looking for more.
The run eventually turned into a 23-6 advantage, with Elliott and Holland connecting on a block before Elliott later teamed up with Kosyagin on a stoppage as the Fords seemed to have everything clicking in the first set. A kill from Holland ended the first at 25-8, as the Fords hit .611 in the stanza, notching 12 kills and committing just one error on 18 total swings.
The Fords took an early 11-7 lead in the second set, leading to the first timeout of the frame for the Beacons. Holland excelled in those early goings of the second, tallying a solo block to prompt the timeout. Haverford then rattled off another 4-0 run, with a spectacular kill from Elliott firing up the bench and serving as a prelude to a service ace from Isabel Schwam as the lead hit 15-8. A 4-0 run gave some late life to the Beacons, but Kosyagin put the Fords up 23-16 before an attack error gave Haverford set point. Kosyagin ended the second frame with her fourth kill of the night.
The third began on a 5-2 Haverford run, with Hunsberger and Otridge each notching crafty kills in the early part of that closeout set. The Beacons rallied to tie the score at 11-11, but a 4-1 run prompted a timeout with a block from Holland and Jones, and a kill from Hunsberger setting the stage. The score reached 19-14 following another 3-0 Haverford spurt, but the Beacons showed some strength in rallying to trim the lead to just two at 22-20, leading to the first Haverford timeout of the evening. The Beacons continued that momentum out of the break, tying the score at 23-all and fending off a Haverford set point before Elena Filograna connected on a service ace to send the Fords into the regional semifinals.
Haverford hit .338 on the match, the second-highest clip of the season, committing just nine attack errors.
The Fords improved to 3-0 all-time against UMass-Boston with the victory. Haverford now advances to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, where it will face off with the winner of the final matchup of Friday night, with host No. 18 MIT battling Eastern Nazarene. First serve of that match is slated for 4 p.m.