WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.—Junior Mary Donahue (Braintree, Mass.) and sophomore Lorraine Mackiewicz (Edison, N.J.) each had 10 kills and combined to hit .280, as Babson College defeated Colby-Sawyer College, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23), in an NCAA Tournament first round match on Friday evening at Williams College's Chandler Gymnasium.
With its first NCAA Tournament victory in program history, Babson moves to 27-8 overall and will take on either Williams or Sage College in a second-round match on Saturday at 5 p.m. Colby-Sawyer, which was making its fourth straight national tournament appearance, sees its season come to a close at 27-9.
Sophomore Jenny Karnes (Houston, Texas) finished with eight kills and two blocks, while senior Kseniya Pulido (Upland, Calif.) recorded a match-high 21 digs to pass Karla Flores '14 as the program's single-season leader with 586 digs. Junior Angela Price (Medway, Mass.) had a team-high 20 assists, classmate Krissy Robertson (Dedham, Mass.) contributed 16 assists, nine digs and seven kills, and senior Brianna San Diego (Daly City, Calif.) and junior Elizabeth Sullivan (Quincy, Mass.) combined for 23 digs.
Senior Jackie Keating (Marshfield, Mass.) led all players with 12 kills and hit .353 to go along with 10 digs to lead the Chargers. Classmate Stephanie Vecchio (Shelter Island, N.Y.) had eight kills and five digs, while junior Laura Smolinski (Hebron, Conn.) had a match-high 27 assists and 11 digs. First-year Lexi Strong (Somersworth, N.H.) finished with a team-high 16 digs in the losing effort.
The Green and White survived 12 ties and five lead changes by outscoring Colby-Sawyer 11-4 to close the opening set. The Chargers broke a 14-14 deadlock with back-to-back kills from Vecchio and Keating, but Babson responded by scoring five of the next six points to take a 19-17 lead on a kill by Karnes. Consecutive kills from Robertson and Donahue followed by a Colby-Sawyer attack error put the Beavers in front for good at 22-19, and another kill from Donahue helped secure a three-point first-set victory.
Despite falling behind by four points for the second game in a row, Babson quickly rallied to take its first lead of the middle set at 7-6. The Chargers went back in front at 12-11 on a kill by Keating and pushed their lead to 20-18 before the Green and White closed the set by scoring seven of the last nine points. Five straight kills, including two apiece from Donahue and Robertson, gave the Beavers a 23-20 edge, and Mackiewicz and Donahue put together back-to-back kills after Colby-Sawyer got within a point to forge a two-set lead.
Babson trailed just once in the third game and built a 13-5 advantage with eight points on the serve of San Diego. The Chargers wouldn't go quietly though, pulling within one at 17-16, only to see the Green and White respond by scoring seven of the next 10 points for a 24-19 lead. Colby-Sawyer took advantage of four straight Beavers' errors, but a kill by Karnes secured Babson's seventh consecutive victory.
MATCH NOTES: The Green and White is now 10-6 all-time against Colby-Sawyer and has won each of the last three meetings in straight sets…the Beavers are 11-4 this season in neutral-court matches…Babson is 26-0 this fall and has won 31 consecutive matches when winning the first set…with 10 kills on Friday, Donahue now has 338 on the season, moving her into third place on the program's single-season list…with two blocks against the Chargers, Karnes now has 92 on the year, tying her with Jill Conrad '03 for the most in single-season program history.