BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) and first-year Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta) combined for 23 kills to help 20th-ranked Babson College defeat visiting SUNY Geneseo, 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 27-25), on the opening night of the MIT Invitational inside Staake Gymnasium.
With the victory, Babson improves to 5-0 for the first time since 1992 when the program opened with 10 straight victories. Geneseo, which had its four-match winning streak snapped, slips to 4-4 overall.
Puccio led all players with 12 kills and Lapins hit .429 and added a season-high 11 kills for the Beavers. Senior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) dished out 34 assists and became just the second player in program history to surpass 3,000 for her career, while classmate Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) chipped in with seven kills and a match-high five blocks in the win.
Senior Grace Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) recorded eight kills, junior Mary Bartkus (Valatie, N.Y.) doled out 15 assists, and senior Sam Mendelsohn (Williamsville, N.Y.) had a match-high 14 digs to lead the Knights.
The trio of Carosotto, Puccio and Lapins combined for 12 first-set kills as the Green and White hit .265 and built an early eight-point lead to cruise to a 1-0 edge. The Beavers hit .355 in game two, but Geneseo put away 12 kills and took advantage of five service errors by the hosts to stay close.
The Knights tied the frame for the fourth time at 19-19 on an ace by junior Alexandra Frank (Syracuse, N.Y.), only to see Babson respond with three straight points that included a block by Puccio and first-year Lauren MacDonald (Westwood, Mass.) to make it 22-19. Geneseo got as close as two on a kill by senior Abby May (Baldwinsville, N.Y.), but Lapins answered with a kill and Malee served up an ace to give the Beavers a two-set edge.
Neither team led by more than three in a third set that featured 10 ties and two lead changes. The Green and White took advantage of three straight errors to go in front 21-18 and was one point from victory after a kill by Puccio before Genese rattled off three straight points to pull even at 24-24 on a block by senior Kat Vernon (Rochester, N.Y.). The Knights staved off a second match point thanks to a kill by sophomore Maddie McLaughlin (East Aurora, N.Y.), but then committed back-to-back errors to end the match.
Both teams return to action on Saturday in Cambridge as Babson takes on Bowdoin and RIT beginning at 12 p.m., while Geneseo faces MIT and Endicott starting at 10 a.m.
• The Beavers are now 1-1 all-time against Geneseo.
• With five blocks on Friday night Carosotto passed Lorraine Mackiewicz '17 for second place on Babson's all-time list with 258 career blocks.
• The Beavers' 22-match winning streak is now tied for the second longest in Division III along with Johns Hopkins.
• Going back to the final home match of the 2017 campaign, Babson has won 55 straight sets inside Staake Gymnasium.