BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomore Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) recorded 14 kills and junior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) added 10 kills and four blocks to help Babson College defeat Wellesley College 3-0 (27-25, 26-24, 25-15) in an NCAA Tournament Babson Park Regional second round match on Saturday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which has won seven consecutive matches, improves to 25-8 and advances to its second consecutive NCAA Tournament regional final. Wellesley, which had defeated the Beavers in five sets back on October 23, sees its season come to a close at 21-7.
Puccio hit .419 in the match, senior Shannon Roseen (Malden, Mass.) finished with eight kills, and sophomore Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) chipped in with six for the Green and White. Junior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) contributed 35 assists and three service aces, while senior Abby Beecher (Pittsford, N.Y.) and sophomore Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) finished with 15 and 12 digs, respectively.
Senior Yasmine Reece (New Rochelle, N.Y.) led all players with 17 kills and added three blocks, while classmate Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.) doled out 33 assists for the Blue. Fellow senior Samantha Hoang (Elk Grove, Calif.) registered a match-high 17 digs in the loss.
The opening set featured 12 ties and seven lead changes with neither squad leading by more than five. Wellesley erased an 11-7 deficit with a 7-1 spurt only to see Babson respond with seven consecutive points, including a pair of aces by Beecher, to go back in front 19-14. The Blue battled back to take its second set point at 25-24 on a kill by Samantha Ostenso (Hopkins, Minn.), but Cameron set up Puccio for three straight kills to give the Beavers a one-set advantage.
Trailing 8-6 in game two, the Green and White rattled off 10 of the next 11 points to build its margin to as many as 16-9 on a block by Carosotto. Wellesley chipped away and pulled within one six times before pulling even at 24-apiece on Reece's ninth kill of the stanza. Roseen put Babson back in front with a kill and Puccio put away a set from Cameron to build a two-set edge.
After three early ties and a pair of lead changes, the Beavers used a 12-3 run to pull away in game three. The Green and White took advantage of six errors by the Blue and got three kills from Puccio, the last one pushing the margin to 18-9. Wellesley responded with four straight points to get as close as five, but three more kills from Roseen and an ace from first-year Samantha Hardan (Woodway, Wash.) on set point helped Babson finish off the match.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday when the take on 23rd-ranked Bowdoin in the Babson Park Regional final at 2 p.m.
• Babson has now won five its last seven matches against Wellesley and Saturday's victory was its first over the Blue in the postseason in program history.
• The Beavers improved to 13-0 at home this year and have won 17 in a row and 36 of their last 37 matches inside Staake Gymnasium going back to 2015.
• Babson is 25-2 this year when winning the first set.
• In five postseason matches this fall, Puccio is averaging 4.94 kills per set to go along with a .357 hitting percentage.