BABSON PARK, Mass.—Senior Shannon Roseen (Malden, Mass.) and sophomore Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) combined for 30 kills to help third-seeded Babson College defeat top-seeded Springfield College in four sets, 25-18, 29-27, 20-25, 25-21, in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament final on Saturday afternoon inside Blake Arena.
With the win, Babson improves to 23-8 overall and captures its third conference tournament championship in the last five years. The Beavers won their first two NEWMAC titles in 2014 and 2015. Springfield, which is ranked eighth in the region, drops to 23-7 and now must wait to see if its name is called when the Division III NCAA Tournament pairings are revealed on Monday.
Puccio led all players with 16 kills, Roseen added 14 an and NEWMAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player, junior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.), contributed 40 assists, seven kills, 18 digs and three blocks for the Green and White. Sophomore Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) put away eight kills and junior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) added seven to go along with a match-high eight blocks, becoming the program's single-season leader with 102 in the process.
Senior Jen Donnelly (Exeter, R.I.), classmate Hayley Kmetz (Ardsley, N.Y.) and first-year Ashley Tanner (Manoville, N.Y.) all had 10 kills for the Pride, which hit just .132 in the loss. First-year Sara Labadorf (Huntersville, N.C.) dished out 45 assists and classmate Briana Tovar (Tucson, Ariz.) led all players with 21 digs in the loss.
The Green and White led for much of the opening set and rattled off the final six points to close a 25-18 victory. Beecher served up a pair of aces, while Miller and Puccio each recorded a kill as the Beavers took advantage of 10 errors in the frame by Springfield.
Babson built a 21-14 lead in game two, but junior Bridget Walsh (Garrison, N.Y.) produced three kills and Labadorf served up an ace as part of a 10-3 run that pulled the hosts even at 24-24. The Pride staved off set point four different times before Miller and Cameron came up with back-to-back kills with the stanza deadlocked at 27 to give the Beavers a commanding 2-0 advantage.
The Green and White trailed for much of game three but were within two at 17-15 following an ace by Miller before Springfield ripped off five straight points to pull away and cut its deficit to 2-1. Set four featured seven ties and four lead changes before the Beavers went in front for good thanks to five straight points, including a pair of kills by Puccio, on Cameron's serve.
Babson had its lead cut to one twice, the last time coming at 20-19, but Roseen, Cameron and Carosotto all came through with kills in a four-point span to extend the lead back to 24-20. Donnelly stopped the run with a kill for the hosts, but Cameron set up Puccio for her final kill of the day on the next point to close out the match.
Babson will learn where it is headed for the NCAA Tournament on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
• The Beavers have won six of their last eight matches against Springfield and are 2-0 against the Pride in the postseason.
• In three conference tournament matches this week, Puccio averaged 5.09 kills per set while hitting at a .302 clip.
• With her eight blocks on Saturday, Carosotto passed Gizem Yilmaz as the program's single-season blocks leader. Her 235 career total blocks have her ranked sixth in school history.
• Babson is 20-0 this season when recording more kills than its opponents.