Malee Named Tournament MVP, Cameron Earns All-Tournament Team Nod as Unbeaten Beavers Continue Best Start Since 1992
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—No. 20 Babson College hit .288 as a team to finish off an undefeated weekend at the MIT Invitational with victories over Bowdoin and RIT. The Beavers took out the Polar Bears in three sets, 25-21, 25-17, 25-19, in their opening match of the day, and followed it up with a four-set 25-21, 27-25, 22-25, 25-9 triumph over the Tigers.
Babson, which also defeated SUNY Geneseo on Friday night, improved to 7-0 on the season. Bowdoin dropped a pair of matches on Saturday to slip to 3-4, while RIT is now 5-5 overall.
No. 20 Babson 3, Bowdoin 0
Junior Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) led all players with 11 kills, classmate Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) added a season-high nine kills, and senior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) contributed eight kills and two blocks for the Beavers. Classmate Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) dished out 33 assists to go along with nine digs, while sophomore Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.) recorded a career-high 21 digs.
Junior Ashley Williams (Lake Forest, Ill.) and first-year Jaida Hodge-Adams (Tarzana, Calif.) both had eight kills to lead the Polar Bears. Classmate Ella Haugen (Minneapolis, Minn.) handed out 14 assists and junior Emily King (Apple Valley, Minn.) finished with 14 digs in the loss.
Following a close first set the Beavers pulled away by hitting .403 over the final two frames. Game two featured eight ties and two lead changes before the Green and White used kills by Puccio and Cameron, as well as an ace from Malee to build a 22-18 advantage. Bowdoin got as close as 22-20 on a kill by sophomore Adrienne Miller (Arlington, Va.), but Puccio responded with two more kills to close out the set for a 2-0 lead.
Babson fell behind 4-1 to start the third before answering with 18 of the next 25 points to build its biggest lead of the set at 19-11 on a kill by Puccio. Miller and Puccio combined for six of the Beavers' 18 third-set kills during the run, and Cameron chipped in with a pair of service aces.
No. 20 Babson 3, RIT 1
Puccio put away 15 kills on .353 percent hitting, and Cameron finished with 35 assists, eight digs, seven kills and five blocks to lead the Green and White past the Tigers. First-year Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta) tallied nine kills, Carosotto chipped in with six kills and a match-high six blocks, and sophomore Samantha Hardan (Woodway, Wash.) collected a team-high 13 digs in the win.
Sophomore Katie Hobler (Rochester, N.Y.) led all players with 19 kills and senior Kelly Waters (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) hit .444 and finished nine kills and two blocks for RIT. Junior Brianna Ellis (Wayne, Pa.) dished out 43 assists and classmate Taylor Higgins (Peru, N.Y.) added a match-high 16 digs in the loss.
The Beavers never trailed in the opening set and used two late kills apiece from Cameron and Carosotto to close out a 25-21 win. Babson trailed by as many as five and was down 24-21 in game two before mounting a late rally to take a two-set advantage. Lapins cut the deficit to two with a kill, an error by the Tigers made it a one-point difference, and Miller served up back-to-back aces to give the Green and White a 25-24 edge. A service error by Miller evened the frame at 25-25, but Carosotto responded with a kill and Lapins delivered an ace on set point for a 27-25 triumph.
The Beavers led by as many as six early in game three, but RIT closed with a 9-3 run that included three late kills from Hobler to force a fourth set. The teams traded the first 16 points of the fourth before Babson closed with a dominating 17-1 run. Puccio had four kills, while Cameron and first-year Laura Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) added two kills apiece for the Green and White, which hit .429 in the frame.
Babson returns to action on Tuesday when it welcomes WPI to Staake Gymnasium for its NEWMAC opener at 7 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 4-5 all-time against Bowdoin and 1-0 versus RIT.
• Babson's 7-0 start is the program's best since 1992 when it opened the year with 10 straight victories.
• The Beavers have won 44 consecutive matches when hitting at least .200 dating back to the end of the 2016 campaign.