BOSTON—Junior Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) led players with a season-high 19 kills but 17th-ranked Babson College recorded its lowest hitting percentage of the year and suffered a four-set (26-24, 15-25, 25-21, 25-23) loss to Emerson College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball action on Tuesday night inside Brown-Plofker Gymnasium.
Babson, which had matched a school record with 11 straight wins to open the season, slips to 11-1 overall and 2-1 in league play. Emerson snapped a two-match skid and is now 7-4 overall and 1-2 in the NEWMAC.
Senior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) and first-year Laura Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) each recorded eight kills, while senior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) finished with season highs of 41 assists and 16 digs for the Beavers. Sophomore Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.) led all players with a career-high 27 digs in a losing effort.
Junior Albany Alexander (Orlando, Fla.) totaled 11 kills, classmate Grace Tepper (Kensington, Md.) added 10 kills and 19 blocks, and first-year Jillian Kay (Capistrano Beach, Calif.) hit .421 and finished with nine kills and a match-high seven blocks to lead the Lions. Sophomore Carolyn Vaimoso (Torrance, Calif.) also recorded nine kills and 19 digs, first-year Caroline Bond (Macungie, Pa.) dished out 45 assists to go along with 12 digs, and classmate Anna Phillips (Peoria, Ariz.) led six players in double figures with 21 digs for the hosts.
The Green and White led for much of the first set and responded after falling behind 19-16 with six consecutive points to go back in front 22-19 on a kill by Puccio. Emerson pulled even at 23-23 on a kill by Alexander, staved off a set point thanks to a kill by Kay, and then got an ace from Phillips and another kill by Alexander to take game one 26-24.
Babson rebounded in the second set, jumping out to a 9-5 lead and pulling away with a late 7-3 spurt that included two kills apiece by juniors Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) and Avery Tronson (Woodland Hills, Calif.) to even the match. Game three featured six ties and four early lead changes before the Lions used a 6-0 run to go in front for good. The Beavers twice got within a point late in the frame, the last coming at 18-17, but Vaimoso tallied four late kills to help the hosts close out the set.
Game four featured 11 ties and five lead changes with neither team leading by more than three at any point. Three Green and White matched its biggest advantage on a kill by Puccio at 14-11 only to see Emerson respond with seven of the next 10 points to go in front 18-17 on a block by Vaimoso and first-year Logan Steenbergen (Glenview, Ill.).
The Lions built a 21-19 lead with three straight points on the service of sophomore Lauren Quan (San Diego, Calif.), and got to match point behind kills from Steenbergen and Kay. Puccio cut the Beavers deficit to 24-23 with kill, but attack on the next play landed out giving Emerson a 25-23 win.
Babson returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts UMass Dartmouth at 6:30 p.m., while Emerson travels to Emmanuel on Thursday at 7 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 8-3 all-time against Emerson and suffered their first loss in the series since 2013 on Tuesday night.
• Babson had won the first two sets of its first 11 matches prior to Tuesday's loss.
• With 19 kills on Tuesday, Puccio passed Alyson Yablonski '03 for fifth place on the program's all-time list with 898 for her career.
• The Beavers' .156 hitting percentage in Tuesday's loss is their lowest since hitting .106 in a five-set loss at Wellesley last October.