BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) led all players with 14 kills to help Babson College defeat the visiting College of Mount Saint Vincent in three sets, 25-14, 25-20, 25-20, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Babson Park Regional on Friday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which has won six consecutive matches, improves to 24-8 on the year and advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in as many appearances. Mount Saint Vincent, which was making its second national tournament appearance, sees its season come to a close at 14-17 overall.
Sophomore Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) finished with six kills and a match-high five blocks, senior Shannon Roseen (Malden, Mass.) added five kills, and junior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) contributed 32 assists, five kills and two blocks for the Beavers. Senior Abby Beecher (Pittsford, N.Y) led all players with 14 digs in the victory.
First-year Samantha Schroeder (Mineola, N.Y.) finished with seven kills and five digs, while junior Tara Maloney (Williston Park, N.Y.) contributed five kills and seven digs for the Dolphins. First-year Alexandra Madden (Centerpoint, N.Y.) also added five kills, junior Dez Brown (Riverhead, N.Y.) contributed three blocks, and rookie Madison Gale (Lawrence, N.Y.) dished out 12 assists in the loss.
Leading 10-8 in the first set, the Green and White pulled away thanks to an 11-2 run that included kills from Miller, Puccio and junior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.), and a service ace from first-year Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.). The Beavers got out to a quick 11-4 lead in game two and put away 14 kills while taking advantage of eight errors by Mount Saint Vincent to build a commanding 2-0 edge in the match.
Puccio and Roseen combined for five early kills as Babson took its biggest lead of the third set at 11-4 following an ace by first-year Samantha Hardan (Woodway, Wash.). The Dolphins chipped away and used a kill from Maloney followed by consecutive attack errors by the Beavers to pull even at 15-15.
The Green and White responded with the next five points though, as Puccio, Roseen and senior Catherine Hunter (Duxbury, Mass.) each had a kill to help make it 20-15 on an ace by sophomore Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii). Mount Saint Vincent got as close as two down the stretch before the Beavers put the match away behind kills from Hunter, Miller and sophomore Avery Tronson (Woodland Hills, Calif.).
Babson will host NEWMAC rival Wellesley in a second round match on Saturday at 5 p.m. inside Staake Gymnasium.
• Friday's match was the first in program history against Mount Saint Vincent.
• The Beavers are now 12-0 at home this season and have won 35 of their last 36 matches inside Staake Gymnasium going back to 2015.
• The Green and White is 20-0 this season and 51-1 going back to 2016 when recording a hitting percentage of .200 or better.
• Babson's 24 wins are the third highest total in program history behind the 2015 (28 wins) and 2014 (27) squads.