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Jumbo Accomplishments

Jumbo AccomplishmentsTwo cross-country runners win All-American honors, but the Tufts field hockey and volleyball teams just miss out on their championship dreams.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.25.09] As the fall athletic season comes to a close, the transition is bittersweet for the Jumbo field hockey and volleyball teams, who made it to the NCAA Div. III championships but fell short of their goal to win it all. As for the Jumbo cross-country team, two members competing at Nationals brought home All-American honors.

The field hockey team, advancing to their second-straight NCAA Div. III national championship semifinal, lost a tough 1-0 match to Salisbury University on Nov. 21.

The team performed well despite adverse circumstances. Head coach Tina McDavitt missed the game after undergoing an emergency appendectomy the previous night. Senior co-captain Margi Scholtes left the game with a dislocated finger, and junior Tamara Brown was slowed by a pulled hamstring.

"I think we're just really proud about how our girls played," said Tufts assistant Dani Ryder, who ran the team along with assistant Craig Rowe. "They had a lot going against them this weekend. They came out, really gave it their all and left everything on the field. We couldn't be prouder of them." The Jumbos finished the season at 18-2.

Moving from the field to the court, the Tufts volleyball team made history this fall, with a season that kicked off by opening the newly renovated Cousens Gym with a win on Sept. 18 and ended with their first-ever NCAA national tournament appearance.

Earning a quarterfinal berth in the NCAA Div. III championship after tallying the most wins in team history (31-5), the Jumbos lost to No. 6 ranked Hope College 3-1 (25-17, 25-23, 29-31, 25-15) on Nov. 19.

The Jumbos got the NCAA berth after winning their first-ever NCAA New England Region title. They also became the first New England team to win a set in a NCAA quarterfinal match since 2004.

"I couldn't be more proud of them," said Tufts head coach Cora Thompson. "Although the outcome was disappointing, the effort was not."

Out on the track, two Jumbo cross-country runners were named All-Americans at the NCAA Div. III national championships in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 21.

Senior Jesse Faller is now a three-time cross-country All-American after running to his best-ever finish on the eight-kilometer course, finishing eighth overall with a 25:40.0 time. The finish is the best by a Tufts runner at Nationals since Rod Hemingway finished sixth (25:30) at the 1997 NCAA race 12 years ago.

Junior Amy Wilfert received her second overall All-American honor after finishing 31st in the six-kilometer race with a time of 22:46.3. She was a part of the Tufts indoor track & field team's distance medley relay that won the NCAA championship last season.

Approximately 50 members of the men's and women's cross-country teams at Tufts drove to Cleveland to support the two All-Americans.

This article includes reporting from Tufts Athletics.

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