Beavers Improve to 8-0 with 23rd Straight Home Win
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) matched her season high with 14 kills and senior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) finished with 27 assists, seven kills and four service aces to help 21st-ranked Babson College defeat visiting WPI, 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-21), in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball action on Tuesday night inside Staake Gymnasium.
With the win, Babson improves to 8-0 overall and is 1-0 in league play, while WPI slips to 4-5 overall and 0-1 in the NEWMAC.
First-year Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta) hit a blistering .643 with 10 kills in 14 attempts and added a match-high three blocks for the Beavers. Junior Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) and first-year Lauren Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) both recorded four kills, while sophomore Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.) finished with 11 digs.
Junior Sarah Kwatinetz (Seattle, Wash.) hit .429 and put away six kills, senior Abbie Gilbert (Hopkinton, Mass.) recorded five kills and two blocks, and sophomore Suela Miloshi (Needham, Mass.) added five kills and five digs to lead the Engineers. First-year Catherine Reynolds (Concord, N.H.) dished out 18 assists and led all players with 12 digs in the loss.
The Green and White dominated the opening frame hitting .625 as the trio of Puccio, Lapins and junior Sabrina Lechner (Novato, Calif.) combined for 11 of the team's 14 kills. WPI battled back in game two, leading by as many as five at 17-12 on a kill by senior Colleen Mullins (Andover, Mass.). The Beavers pulled even for the first time since early in the set at 23-all on a kill by Puccio, who then followed a kill by Kwatinetz with another of her own to make it 24-24.
Zuloaga gave Babson its first lead of the frame with a kill and Cameron added her fifth kill of the set to help the hosts escape with a 2-0 advantage.
The Engineers started fast again in the third building a quick 7-4 edge before the Green and White rallied to take control of the set. Puccio put the hosts in front for good with two straight kills, and Zuloaga, Miller and Lapins all chipped in with kills during a 7-2 spurt that extended Babson's lead to 21-15.
The Beavers hit .417 over the first two sets and .295 for the match, while WPI hit just .125 on the night.
Babson returns to action on Thursday when it travels to Simmons for a 7 p.m. match, while WPI visits Springfield on Saturday at 1 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 32-11 all-time against WPI and have won four straight and 14 of the last 17 matches in the series.
• Babson's 23-match home winning streak is now tied for the longest in Division III. Each of the Beavers' last 19 wins have come in straight sets and they have been victorious in 58 consecutive sets going back to the end of the 2017 campaign.
• The Green and White has won its NEWMAC opener in eight consecutive seasons going back to 2012.
• Babson's 8-0 start is its best since 1992 when the team began the season with 10 straight wins.