No. 20 Women's Volleyball Opening Weekend
Friday vs. Manhattanville, 3 p.m. | Maine-Presque Isle, 7 p.m.
Saturday vs. Suffolk, 2 p.m.
Staake Gymnasium | Babson Park, Mass.
• The Babson women's volleyball team welcomes Manhattanville, Maine-Presque Isle and Suffolk to Staake Gymnasium for two days of matches beginning on Friday afternoon.
• The Beavers are opening the season at home for the first time since 2012.
vs. Manhattanville: First meeting
vs. Maine-Presque Isle: The Beavers are 1-0 all-time against the Owls thanks to a two-set sweep at the UMass Dartmouth Tournament back in 1987.
vs. Suffolk: Babson is 8-2 all-time against the Rams in a series that dates back to 2001. The Beavers have won five straight matches in the series although the programs have not met since 2012.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• No. 20 Babson (0-0) returns 12 players from a team that finished 26-9 overall and reached the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in school history last season.
• Junior Allie Puccio hit .248 and averaged 3.57 kills per set, while senior Kristin Carosotto put away a career-high 2.25 kills and set a new single-season program record with 114 blocks.
• Senior Elizabeth Cameron dished out a career-best 9.42 assists per set, and sophomore Maddie Malee (2.41 d/s) is one of four returners that averaged better than two digs per set in 2018.
SCOUTING THE VALIANTS
• Manhattanville (0-0), which recently returned to the Skyline Conference after 12 seasons as a member of the MAC Freedom conference, returns six players from a team that went 9-13 last fall.
• Senior Austen Brauer ranked second on the squad in kills (176) and kills per set (2.41), while junior Rosie DeBellis dished out 3.03 assists per set.
• Junior Leslie Morales contributed 62 digs and 1.00 digs per set for the Valiants, who must replace their top four defensive specialists.
SCOUTING THE OWLS
• Maine-Presque Isle (0-0) returns six players from a team that concluded the 2018 season at 10-17.
• Junior Miranda Washinawatock averaged 2.81 kills and 2.87 digs per set, while classmate Maddie Thweatt led the Owls in total digs (235) and contributed 2.83 digs per game.
• Senior Laura Aroz dished out 5.22 assists per set to lead the team.
SCOUTING THE RAMS
• Suffolk (0-0) brings back seven players after going 12-17 and reaching the GNAC Tournament semifinals for the first time in program history last year.
• Junior Hannah Fabiano averaged a team-high 2.16 kills per set, while classmate Kayla Barbera contributed 2.09 kills and 2.54 digs per set for the Rams.
• Fellow junior Dakhensey Marcellus led the defense with 4.50 digs per set, and senior Sarah Mullahy ranked third on the squad with 38 blocks.
HOME SWEET HOME
• Babson's last home opener came in 2012 when it defeated Wentworth, 3-0.
• The Beavers enter the year riding an 18-match winning streak inside Staake Gymnasium, which ranks as the third longest in Division III behind Colorado College (33) and Johns Hopkins (22).
• The Green and White has gone 73-10 at home since head coach Eric Neely arrived in Babson Park prior to the 2011 campaign.
RISING IN THE RANKINGS
• Babson garnered nine of 11 possible first-place votes to finish atop the NEWMAC preseason coaches' poll, and is ranked in the AVCA Division III preseason poll for the first time in school history.
• The only previous appearance in the national rankings for the Beavers came last season, when they came in at No. 20 in the final poll after advancing to the NCAA quarterfinals.
NUMBER TO KNOW
• The Beavers averaged 14.00 kills per set and hit at a .256 clip on the way to going 14-0 without dropping a set at home last fall.