WORCESTER -- Babson setter Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, CA) stuffed the stat sheet with 38 assists, nine kills, six digs and three blocks as the Beavers went on the road and defeated WPI 3-1 in the NEWMAC conference volleyball opener for both teams.
Babson improves to 5-3 on the season and 1-0 in league play took the match by scores of 25-20, 25-20, 21-25, 25-20. The Engineers were on the short end of decision for the first time all season and are now 6-1 overall and 0-1 in NEWMAC action.
After a back-and-forth first set that saw two teams tied 11 times, the victors netted six of the final seven points and captured the opening stanza on an Allie Puccio (New Hartford, NY) kill. The Beaver continued the momentum in the second set, racing out 10-3 advantage. The Crimson and Gray would get as close as two at 12-10 but the Beavers never trailed en route to its second straight 25-20 score.
WPI pulled a set back in the third, transforming an 8-8 deadlock to a 23-14 bulge before holding off the Beavers and taking a 25-21 decision. Babson regrouped nicely in the fourth, using an 11-3 spurt midway through the set and never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.
Cameron hit an impressive .438, making just a pair of errors on 16 attempts. She kept the Engineers at bay with timely dumps from her setter position. Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, RI) and Puccio both reached double digits in kills with 12 and 11 respectively. Carosotto was particularly efficient, hitting .632 with no errors in 19 tries. Samantha Hardan (Woodway, WA) led the guests on defense with 13 kills while Abby Beecher (Pittsford, NY) chipped in with 12 and Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, HI) had 10 and Carosotto and Sabrina Lechner (Novato, CA) added four blocks.
Colleen Mullins (Andover, MA) notched a double-double for the Engineers. The junior totaled 14 kills and 13 digs to go along with a game-high five aces. Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) fell a dig short of a double-double of her own, finishing with 12 kills and nine digs while Abbie Gilbert (Hopkinton, NH) was not far behind with nine kills, eight digs and three blocks. Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) led all players by doling out 43 assists. Victoria Nassar (Atkinson, NH) joined Mullins with 13 digs while Kassidy Utheim (Monroe Township, NJ) hit .300 and Sarah Kwatinetz (Seattle, WA) totaled seven kills and four digs.
WPI steps out of conference for its next match Thursday at Anna Maria at 7pm. In a scheduling oddity, Babson returns to Worcester for its next action when they head to Clark for a 11am tri-match with nationally-ranked Johnson & Wales.