BABSON PARK, Mass.—First-year Brittany Goldschmidt (Delray Beach, Fla.) notched a career-high 10 kills and sophomore Krissy Robertson (Dedham, Mass.) posted team-highs of 19 assists and six service aces, helping Babson College pick up a 3-1 victory over visiting Wheaton College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) women's volleyball action on Tuesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
With its third straight win Babson wrapped up its regular season at 18-11 overall and 7-3 in conference play, clinching its first NEWMAC Tournament home match since 1993. Wheaton, which has now dropped six consecutive matches, falls to 14-16 overall and 4-5 in the league.
Sophomores Mary Donahue (Braintree, Mass.) and Alicia Wilde (Franklin, Mass.) each had eight kills for the Beavers, who also got 15 assists from classmate Angela Price (Medway, Mass.) and 12 digs from junior Brianna San Diego (Daly City, Calif.).
Sophomore Elise Waelder (San Diego, Calif.) paced the Lyons with nine kills and three blocks, while classmate Deirdre Wilson (Aptos, Calif.) had a match-high 23 assists to go along with 12 digs. Sophomore Kendall Jacobs (San Diego, Calif.) contributed six kills and nine digs, and classmate Robyn D'Agostino (Three Bridges, N.J.) notched 12 digs.
After splitting the first 10 points of the opening set, Babson used a 9-2 run led by a pair of kills from Goldschmidt and five Lyons' errors to go ahead 14-7. Wheaton pulled within five at 15-10, but the Beavers countered by scoring 10 of the final 14 points of the frame to take opening set, 25-14.
The Green and White trailed only once early in the second set, and used a 7-0 run midway through the game to take command. Clinging to an 8-7 lead, Robertson started the run with a kill and a service ace, and sophomore Julia Goldstein (Lynnfield, Mass.) used one of her three kills to push the lead to 11-7, forcing a Wheaton timeout. The Lyons made three straight errors out of the break and Donahue smashed a kill from Robertson to give the Beavers their biggest lead of the frame at 15-7. Wheaton was able to pull within three at 22-19 late in the set, but Babson scored three straight points to close out a 25-19 win and take a two-set lead.
The hosts looked primed to finish off the Lyons in straight sets after taking an 8-0 lead on the serve of Robertson to open the third set. Wheaton rallied though, erasing an 11-2 lead by scoring 23 of the final 28 points in the set to cut its deficit in half with a 25-16 win. The visitors got four kills from Waelder in game three, and took advantage of 10 Babson errors in the frame.
The Beavers never trailed in the fourth set and went ahead by as many as eight points, led by four kills from Wilde and three kills apiece from Goldschmidt and sophomore Mary Martin (East Haddam, Conn.). The Green and White also took advantage of six Wheaton service errors to close out the match with a 25-19 win.
Babson has clinched the third seed in next week's NEWMAC Tournament and will open with a quarterfinal match at home on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against a yet to be determined opponent. Wheaton will wrap up its regular season on Saturday, hosting Smith in a 1 p.m. start.
Match Notes: The Beavers are now 10-0 at home this season and have won 11 straight matches at Staake Gymnasium dating back to October 27, 2012…Babson's 7-3 mark in the NEWMAC is its best in program history and its third-place finish is its highest finish since tying for third in the NEW 8 back in 1993…The Green and White will also host its first conference playoff match since 1993 next Tuesday…The Beavers are now 15-2 on the year when they win the first set.