BUZZARDS BAY, Mass – Going in to their weekend matches with Fisher College and Westfield State University, junior libero Christina Ruggeri (Bourne, Mass) was 40 digs away from recording her 1,000th career dig with a season and a half left in her Buccaneer career.
Instituted in 1999, the libero is a defensive specialist and only plays on the back row. When the middle blocker goes to the back row, the libero will come in and play for the middle blocker. Their primary responsibility is to serve, play defense, and dig spikes, and Ruggeri has done it well.
Against Fisher on Friday evening, Tina accumulated 24 digs, leaving her 16 away from the milestone. On Saturday at Westfield State, she got those 16 and added one for good measure, putting her at 1,001 for her career.
This was not only a milestone for Ruggeri, but also for Massachusetts Maritime Academy volleyball as she became the first volleyball player in Buccaneer history to reach 1,000 digs.
Ruggeri came to Maritime from Bourne High School in the fall of 2016 and made an immediate impact on the defensive side of play for the Bucs, racking up 417 digs in 104 sets in her freshman season, an average of 4.01 digs per set. In her sophomore season, her dig total fell to 333 as the team played 26 matches, four less than 2016, and only 80 sets. This year, Tina has 251 digs in 17 matches, 59 sets, with four matches remaining in the season. She is on pace for 310 digs this season and if she keeps up her pace through her senior year, she can finish her Maritime career with nearly 1,400 digs. She is already the All-Time leader in school history in digs and will only increase that number going forward.
Ruggeri and the Buccaneers are on the road Wednesday night at 7:15pm against Framingham State as they look to secure a place in the MASCAC volleyball playoff.