BABSON PARK, Mass.—First-year Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) registered 12 of her match-high 16 kills over the final two sets to help Babson College defeat visiting Wellesley College, 3-1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-22, 25-19), in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball action on Tuesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which was fourth in the initial NCAA regional rankings, improves to 18-7 overall and 7-2 in conference play, while Wellesley dips to 17-5 overall and 8-2 in the NEWMAC. The Green and White can earn the second seed in next week's league tournament with a win at Mount Holyoke on Saturday.
Sophomore Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) finished with 34 assists, six kills, four services aces and two blocks for the Beavers, while first-year Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) added nine kills and six digs. Junior Abby Beecher (Pittsford, N.Y.) had 26 digs, first-year Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) added a career-high 16 digs, and sophomore Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) contributed six kills, eight digs and a team-high four blocks.
Junior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) recorded 15 kills, 10 digs and four blocks, while first-year Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) added 12 kills for the Blue, which was fifth in last week's NCAA regional rankings. Junior Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) dished out 34 assists and classmate Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) led all players with 28 digs in the loss.
The Green and White led by as many as four in the opening frame only to see Wellesley rip off five straight point to build a 16-13 lead on an ace by senior Alina Mota (Glendora, Calif.). Back-to-back kills by first-year Sabrina Lechner (Novato, Calif.) put the hosts back in front 19-18, and late kills by Carosotto and junior Catherine Hunter (Duxbury, Mass.) gave the Beavers a one-set lead.
The Blue never trailed in the second set, jumping out to an 8-2 lead and hitting .367 to even the match. Babson responded by winning a tight third game that featured nine ties and four lead changes. The Beavers took advantage of three straight errors to go in front for good at 18-15, and got three late kills from Puccio for a one-set lead.
The Green and White led for much of game four, and used a key eight-point run to turn a 13-11 edge into a 10-point bulge. Puccio and Miller, who combined for 10 kills in the frame, had two apiece during the decisive run, which also included a pair of aces by Cameron.
Babson returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Simmons at 7 p.m., while Wellesley hosts Southern Maine on Thursday at 7 p.m.
• After winning just twice in their first 34 matches against Wellesley, the Beavers have won four straight against the Blue since 2014.
• With 34 assists on Tuesday, Cameron passed Angela Price '16 for fourth place on the program's all-time list with 1,579 career assists.
• With Tuesday's victory, Babson improved to 9-1 at home and 15-2 when winning the first set this season.
• With 26 digs against Wellesley, Beech tied Angela Chen for ninth place on the Beavers' single-season list with 357 this fall.