BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Wellesley College volleyball fell short of host Babson College, dropping a 3-1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-22, 21-13) final to their crosstown rivals in New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday at Staake Gymnasium.
In a battle for the second seed in the upcoming NEWMAC Championship tournament, Babson got the advantage, improving to 18-7 overall and 7-2 in conference. The Beavers can lock up the No. 2 seed with a victory on Saturday at Mount Holyoke. Wellesley is now 17-5 overall and 8-2 in the NEWMAC and will be the No. 3 seed when the conference tournament opens next Tuesday.
First year Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) led all players with 16 kills for the Beavers, while classmate Gabby Miller (Miami, Fla.) had nine and sophomore Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) chipped in six. Cameron also orchestrated the Babson attack with 34 assists. On defense, junior libero Abby Beecher (Pittsford, N.Y.) collected 26 digs and first year Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) had 16 digs.
Junior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) finished with a team-high 15 kills for the Blue, adding 10 digs to record her second double-double of the season. First year Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) added 12 kills on 42 attempts, while junior setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) totaled 34 assists in the setback. Classmate Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) tallied a season-best with 28 digs, while sophomore Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) matched Reece with 10.
Babson struck first, outlasting the Blue in a back-and-forth first set to earn a 25-22 victory. Wellesley hit .275 in the opening set, while holding the Beavers to a .268 attack percentage, but failed to find offense late in the game, as the Beavers scored three of the final four points and ended the game on a kill by Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.).
Wellesley countered in the second set, running away with a lopsided 25-11 victory. The Blue hit .367 in the frame and limited the Babson offense to just six kills. An early 13-4 advantage grew to a lead of 21-9 following a kill from Li, before first year Darina Postupaka (Tinley Park, Ill.) ended the set with her second kill of the match.
Babson broke a 15-15 tie in the third set to rally for their second 25-22 victory of the match and take a 2-1 lead. Three-straight Wellesley errors opened the door for the Beavers to take an 18-15 advantage. Babson held the narrow advantage for the remainder of the game, with Blue only able to get within one, at 23-22, following a Babson miscue late in the set.
This time the Beavers carried their momentum into the next set, racing to a 21-11 lead following an ace from Cameron. The Blue rallied late, cutting the deficit to 22-17, but Babson closed out the set on a Wellesley error to take a 25-19 set victory and a 3-1 win in the match.
Wellesley will host non-conference Southern Maine in their next match on Thursday, October 24, at 7:00 PM. Babson will play Simmons tomorrow night, Wednesday, October 25, at 7:00 PM.