BABSON PARK, Mass.—No. 20 Babson College hit .286 as a team on the way to opening the season with three-set victories over visiting Manhattanville College (25-11, 25-17, 25-17) and the University of Maine-Presque Isle (25-10, 25-15, 25-8) inside Staake Gymnasium on Friday.
Babson 3, Manhattanville 0
Juniors Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) and Sabrina Lechner (Novato, Calif.) each finished with seven kills in the Beavers' sweep of the Valiants. First-year Kelsey Hoff (Newtown Square, Pa.) contributed 13 assists and five digs, while sophomore Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.) tied for match-high honors with eight digs.
First-year Felicity Hoffert (Smithtown, N.Y.) hit .500 and led all players with nine kills for Manhattanville. Classmate Vianca Vital (Carolina, Puerto Rico) dished out 15 assists and fellow rookie Geena Torres (Middletown, N.Y.) recorded eight digs in the loss.
The Green and White jumped out to a 7-1 lead and put away 15 kills while hitting .538 in a dominant first-set performance. The Valiants took their biggest lead of game two at 9-6 on a kill by Vital before the Beavers responded with a 10-2 spurt that included two kills by Lechner and another by Hoff to take a 16-11 edge. Manhattanville got as close as three late in the frame only to see Babson respond by scoring six of the final seven points to build a two-set advantage.
Clinging to a 15-14 lead in the third, the Beavers rattled off a 10-3 run to close out the match. Malee and junior Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) combined for three service aces, while Lechner and Puccio each added a kill during the spurt.
Babson 3, Maine-Presque Isle 0
Lechner led all players with nine kills and first-year Lauren MacDonald (Westwood, Mass.) hit .462 and added eight kills in Babson's sweep of the Owls. Sophomore Jacalyn Pell (Milton, Ga.) tallied five kills, Hoff dished out 15 assists and added six service aces, and sophomore Samantha Hardan (Woodway, Wash.) led all players with eight digs.
Five different players had one kill for Maine-Presque Isle, which got seven digs from first-year Breanna Epperly (Reserve, La.).
The Green and White built a quick 8-1 lead, hit .320 as a team and got two kills apiece from Lechner, MacDonald, Puccio and senior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) in an easy game-one win. The Beavers recorded 14 kills in the second set, and then built a 16-2 advantage in the third. Hoff served up four aces and Malee added three of her own during the run, which also included a pair of kills by Pell.
Both teams return to action on Saturday as Babson hosts Suffolk at 2 p.m., while Maine-Presque Isle meets Manhattanville at 10 a.m.
• Friday's match was the first in program history against Manhattanville, while the Beavers are now 2-0 all-time against Maine-Presque Isle.
• Babson has won 20 straight home matches, which is the third longest streak in Division III, and has not dropped a set against any of its last 16 opponents inside Staake Gymnasium.
• The Beavers' 18 service aces against Maine-Presque Isle are the program's most since serving up 18 in a four-set win over Plymouth State on October 7, 2017.
• Prior to Friday, Babson had not opened its season at home since 2012.