Beavers Advance to NEWMAC Semifinals for Fifth Year in a Row Behind Puccio's 23 Kills
BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) put away a season-high 23 kills and junior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) dished out 40 assists as the third-seeded Babson College women's volleyball team defeated the sixth-seeded Coast Guard Academy in straight sets, 25-19, 25-22, 25-23, in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which is fourth in the NCAA regional rankings, improves to 21-8 on the year and advances to the conference semifinals for the fifth consecutive season. Coast Guard sees its season come to a close at 18-12.
Puccio made just two errors and hit a blistering .568, senior Shannon Roseen (Malden, Mass.) added 11 kills, and junior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) chipped in with seven kills and three blocks for the Beavers. First-year Samantha Hardan (Woodway, Wash.) recorded a team-high 11 digs, while senior Abby Beecher (Pittsford, N.Y.) and first-year Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.) both chipped in with eight digs apiece.
Junior Angelou Dunton (Seattle, Wash.) finished with 10 kills, eight digs and two blocks, while sophomore Briget Boyle (Dunwoody, Ga.) and first-year Amanda Dake (Victor, N.Y.) added six kills apiece. Junior Makenna Martin (Granbury, Texas) dished out 27 assiss and sophomore Heather Miller (Merritt Island, Fla.) led all players with 16 assists.
Puccio recorded eight of Babson's 20 first-set kills as the hosts built and early lead and hit .421 in the stanza to take a 1-0 advantage. Puccio and Carosotto each had two kills apiece as part of a 6-0 run to begin the second set, and the Green and White extended its margin to as many as eight on a service ace by sophomore Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.). Coast Guard got within three on four occasions and cut its deficit to 24-22 on an error, but Puccio responded with her eighth kill of the frame to close out the set.
Game three featured seven ties and five lead changes as neither team led by more than three at any point. The Bears took their first edge of the match at 10-9 on a kill by Dunton, but the Beavers responded with four straight kills and later got a block from Carosotto and senior Catherine Hunter (Duxbury, Mass.) to regain a 17-16 advantage.
Coast Guard pulled even for the final time at 23-23, but Roseen put away a kill and Hunter and Carosotto teamed up for another block at match point to close out the win.
Babson returns to action on Thursday when it travels to second-seeded MIT for a semifinal match at 7 p.m.
• The Beavers have now won nine straight matches against Coast Guard and is 4-3 all-time in the postseason against the Bears.
• Babson extended is home winning streak to 13 matches and has won 34 of its last 35 contests insides Staake Gymnasium dating back to October 2015.
• The Green and White matched its season high for kills in a three-set match with 52 on Tuesday night.
• In two matches against Coast Guard this fall, Puccio totaled 40 kills and averaged 6.67 kills per set.