BABSON PARK, Mass.—First-year Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) led all players with 16 kills and classmate Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) added 11 kills to help the second-seeded Babson College women's volleyball team pick up a four-set victory (25-9, 25-15, 24-26, 25-14) over seventh-seeded Springfield College in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
With the win, Babson improves to 20-8 overall and advances to the conference semifinals for the fourth consecutive season. Springfield, which was playing its first NEWMAC quarterfinal on the road, closes the season at 15-13.
Sophomore Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) had 10 kills and nine digs, while classmate Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) finished with seven kills, six digs, three blocks and a match-high 46 assists for the Beavers. Junior Abby Beecher (Pittsford, N.Y.) led all players with 24 digs and first-year Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) chipped in with 11 digs in the victory.
Senior Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) finished with 10 kills and first-year Kait Bonsignore (St. Louis, Mo.) led all players with six blocks for the Pride. Classmate Kayley Cimino (Cumberland, Maine) registered 18 assists and seven digs, while sophomore Anagabrielle Sanchez (Caguas, Puerto Rico) recorded a team-high 18 digs in the loss.
Puccio, Cameron and Carosotto all had three kills apiece in the first set as the Green and White hit .481 as a team to cruise to a 1-0 lead. The Beavers jumped out to an early lead again in the game two and put away 15 kills, including four each by Puccio and Miller, while hitting at a .382 clip to build a two-set advantage.
Babson led by as many as six in the third before Springfield rallied with a 16-5 run to build a 22-17 advantage. The hosts responded by scoring seven of the next nine points to pull even at 24-all, but junior Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.) put away her fourth kill of the frame and the Pride took advantage of an error by the Beavers to force a fourth set.
The Green and White regained control of the match by opening the stanza with a 12-4 run. Puccio tallied seven of the Beavers' 14 fourth-set kills and the team hit .412 while also taking advantage of seven Springfield errors in the frame.
Babson returns to action on Saturday when it faces third-seeded Wellesley in the second of two semifinal matches at MIT beginning at 3:30 p.m.
• Tuesday's match was the first in NEWMAC Tournament history between the Beavers and Pride.
• Prior to Tuesday, all three of Babson's all-time wins against Springfield had come in five sets.
• The Green and White has won seven of its last eight conference playoff matches going back to 2014.
• The Beavers, who hit .280 on the night, also matched its season high with 76 digs in the victory.
• Babson finished the year with a 10-1 record inside Staake Gymnasium.