Women's Volleyball

2018 NCAA Elite 8 | 2017 NCAA Round of 16 | 4 NCAA Tournaments | 3 Conference Titles

Tournament Preview: No. 22 Women's Volleyball Set to Face Top NESCAC Foes at New England Challenge

Tournament Preview: No. 22 Women's Volleyball Set to Face Top NESCAC Foes at New England Challenge

No. 22 Women's Volleyball at the New England Challenge
Friday, October 18 vs. Williams | 7 p.m. | Staake Gymnasium
Saturday, October 19 vs. Tufts, 11 a.m. | vs. Middlebury, 3:30 p.m. | Cambridge, Mass.

THE SETUP
• Babson will host Williams on Friday night before traveling to MIT to face No. 13 Tufts and Middlebury on Saturday in the fifth edition of the New England Challenge.
• The Beavers are 4-8 all-time in the New England Challenge.

SERIES HISTORY
vs. Williams
• The Beavers are 1-6 all-time against the Ephs in a series that dates back to 2002.
• Babson, which picked up its lone win over Williams back in 2015, suffered a three-set loss (30-28, 25-21, 25-19) against the Ephs last season.

vs. Tufts
• Babson is 1-18 all-time against Tufts in a series that dates back to 1980.
• The Beavers dropped a four-set decision (25-17, 23-25, 27-25, 25-11) in last year's match and are looking for their first victory over the Jumbos since 2015.

vs. Middlebury
• The Beavers are 2-3 all-time against Middlebury in a series that dates back to 2015.
• Both of Babson's wins over the Panthers have come at home, including last year's three-set sweep (25-22, 25-15, 25-16).

SCOUTING THE BEAVERS
• No. 22 Babson (20-1) has won nine straight matches after rallying for a 3-1 victory at Wheaton on Tuesday.
• Junior Allie Puccio finished with 13 kills and classmate Cassidy Witten added a career-high 25 digs to go along with four aces for the Beavers, who overcame their lowest hitting percentage (.150) of the season.
• Puccio is averaging 3.67 kills per set, first-year Jordan Lapins is contributing 2.31 kills, and classmate Laura Zuloaga (2.22 k/s, 0.83 b/s) is hitting a blistering .424 on the year.
• Senior Elizabeth Cameron is dishing out 9.17 assists, while sophomore Maddie Malee leads the Green and White in digs per set (3.75).

SCOUTING THE EPHS
• Williams (11-5) has won two straight matches after rallying for a five-set victory over Bates last Saturday.
• Senior Erin Denham had 22 kills and sophomore Lydia Kurtz finished with 16 kills and 29 digs for the Ephs, who hit .283 over the final two sets.
• Kurtz is averaging 3.09 kills and 3.24 digs per set, Denham is contributing 2.96 kills, and first-year Kiley Wallace (2.50 k/s) is hitting .228 on the year.
• Senior Alexandra Newton and first-year Gracie Guidotti are combining to dish out 10.39 assists, while senior Daiana Takashima is averaging a team-high 4.74 digs per set.

SCOUTING THE JUMBOS
• No. 13 Tufts (17-0) enters the weekend riding the nation's fourth longest winning streak following a 3-0 triumph over Brandeis on Wednesday.
• Junior Jennifer Ryan and sophomore Cate Desler both recorded 10 kills and senior Rachel Furash added 29 assists and three aces for the Jumbos, who hit .348 on the night.
• Senior Maddie Stewart (2.81 k/s, 0.82 b/s) is hitting .357, Desler is averaging 2.80 kills per set, and senior Brigid Bell is contributing 2.47 kills and 2.80 digs per set.
• Furash and sophomore Ariel Zedric are combining to hand out 11.66 assists, while first-year Stephanie Lee leads the squad in digs per set (3.95).

SCOUTING THE PANTHERS
• Middlebury (10-5) is coming off a 3-0 win over Connecticut College last Saturday.
• Sophomore Maggie Wise led all players with 10 kills and junior Jaime Donnelly added seven kills and two blocks for the Panthers, who hit .351 in the victory.
• Wise is averaging 3.13 kills and 2.13 digs per set, sophomore Corley Doyle (2.04 k/s) boasts a .318 hitting percentage, and classmate Jane Nelson is contributing 2.04 kills per set.
• Senior Chellsa Ferdinand and junior Emma Walsh are combining to dole out 9.23 assists, while senior Gigi Alper is recording 5.90 digs per set.

MILESTONE WATCH
• Ninth-year head coach Eric Neely enters the weekend needing just two more wins to reach 200 for his career.
• Puccio is just four kills away from becoming the third player in program history to reach 1,000 for her career.
• Cameron, who holds the top two single-season marks in Babson history, is just 174 assists shy of Kathleen Lynch's '13 record of 3,631.

TWO OF A KIND
• The Beavers and Johns Hopkins enter the weekend as the only two Division III squads in the country that rank among the top 10 in both hitting percentage and opponents hitting percentage.
• Babson ranks 10th with a .252 hitting percentage while holding opponents to .084, which ranks fifth nationally.
• The Green and White has held nine straight foes below .150 and Bowdoin, which dropped a three-set decision to Babson in September, has finished with a hitting percentage better than .200 this fall.

NUMBER TO KNOW
• The Beavers are 34-0 over the last two seasons when recording more digs than their opponents.

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