Beavers Reach 20 Wins for Fifth Time in the Last Six Seasons
NORTON, Mass.—Junior Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) recorded 13 kills and classmate Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) led all players with a career-high 25 digs to help No. 22 Babson College rally for a four-set (17-25, 25-22, 25-11, 26-24) win over Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball action inside Emerson Gymnasium.
With its ninth consecutive victory, Babson improves to 20-1 overall and 6-1 in league play, while Wheaton slips to 14-9 overall and 4-3 in the NEWMAC.
Puccio matched her career high with 16 digs, first-year Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta) totaled 11 kills and classmate Lauren MacDonald (Westwood, Mass.) chipped in with seven kills and three blocks for the Beavers. Senior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) contributed 34 assists, 14 digs and five kills, while classmate Erica Schwegman (Birmingham, Mich.) registered a career-best 14 digs in the win.
Junior Julia Palomba (San Carlos, Calif.) paced the Lyons with 13 kills and 19 digs. Senior Becca Houghton (Emmaus, Pa.) finished with 32 assists and 12 digs, while first-year Casey Dinga (Windham, N.H.) added nine kills and four blocks in the loss.
The Green and White made 10 first-set errors and gave up an 8-0 run after pulling even at 17-17 to fall into an early 1-0 hole. Wheaton led 16-14 in game two before the Beavers ripped off five straight points, which included back-to-back kills by Lapins and a pair of blocks by MacDonald and first-year Laura Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) to take a 19-16 advantage on the way to evening the match at a set apiece.
Babson started fast in the third set using consecutive kills by Lapins to build a 10-5 lead, and extending its margin to 19-10 on back-to-back aces by Schwegman. The Beavers put away 13 kills in the frame and hit .300 as a team while limiting the Lyons to just five kills and six errors.
Wheaton took its biggest lead of the fourth set at 12-8 before the Green and White responded with a 10-4 run that gave it an 18-16 edge on a kill by Zuloaga. Babson took its largest lead of the frame at 23-19 only to see the Lyons counter with five of the next six points to make it 24-24 on a block by sophomore Haley McCreight (Greenville, R.I.). Wheaton's momentum was short-lived however, as the Beavers went back in front on a service error by Dinga and closed out the match on a block by Cameron and senior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) one play later.
Both teams return to action on Friday as Babson hosts Williams at 7 p.m., while the Lyons take on Roger Williams at 5 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 18-32 all-time against Wheaton and have won 10 of the last 13 matches between the teams.
• Babson registered a season-high 95 digs in the match while also finishing with its lowest hitting percentage (.150) of the season.
• Tuesday's win helped the Beavers reach 20 wins for the third consecutive season and the fifth time in the last six years under head coach Eric Neely, who is now just two wins shy of 200 for his career.
• During its current nine-match winning streak, no team has hit better than .142 against Babson.