SOUTH HADLEY, Mass.—The Babson College women's volleyball team wrapped up the regular season with a pair of three-set sweeps over Mount Holyoke College and Sage College on Saturday afternoon inside Howard Gymnasium. The Beavers downed the host Lyons 25-18,25-21, 25-21 in their opener and followed it up with an easy 25-12, 25-12, 25-18 triumph over the Gators.
With the victories, Babson closes the regular season at 30-1 overall and 9-1 in league play. The Beavers clinched a share of their first New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) since 2014 and will be the top seed in the upcoming tournament for the first time in program history.
Babson 3, Mount Holyoke 0
Sophomore Laura Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) finished with nine kills, junior Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) added eight kills and classmate Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) registered seven kills and seven digs for the Beavers. Seniors Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) and Emily Woodward (Deerfield, Mass.) dished out 19 and 16 assists, respectively, in the win.
Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ontario) led all players with 11 kills in 15 attempts for a .667 hitting percentage to lead the Lyons (7-20, 0-10 NEWMAC).
The Green and White cruised in the first set jumping out to a 6-0 lead and putting away 17 kills while hitting .500. Mount Holyoke used back-to-back blocks and a Babson error to go in front 21-20 late in the second set before the Beavers responded with five straight points to end the frame. Cameron and junior Sabrina Lechner (Novato, Calif.) produced back-to-back kills, sophomore Jacalyn Pell (Milton, Ga.) followed up a Lyons' error with another kill, and Miller and Lechner combined for a block on set point.
Babson trailed 12-10 midway through game three before rattling off seven straight points, six on the serve of sophomore Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.), to go in front for good. Mount Holyoke got as close as two at 21-19, but Woodward served up an ace and Puccio and Pell added late kills to finish off the match.
Babson 3, Sage 0
Zuloaga hit .583 with eight kills, while Puccio and first-year Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta) added seven and six kills, respectively, for the Beavers. Cameron led all players with 20 assists over the first two sets, Malee tied for match-high honors with 11 digs, and junior Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) added 10 digs in the victory.
Sophomore Emma Parkington (Dalton, Mass.) recorded six kills and eight digs, while senior Megan Ryder (Broadalbin, N.Y.) totaled 11 digs to lead the Gators (4-24).
Babson raced out to a 9-2 lead and hit .450 with 11 kills in an easy first-set win. Sage was down five midway through the second stanza before the Green and White ripped off an 8-2 spurt to pull away. Four different players recorded a kill during the run, which included two apiece by Zuloaga and Puccio, as the Beavers extended their lead to 20-9.
The Green and White never trailed in the third set as it totaled 16 kills and hit .293 in a 25-18 win. After trailing by as many as four, the Gators pulled within 16-15 on a block by Ryder only to see the Beavers respond with kills by Lechner and Pell and an ace by Woodward to extend the margin back to 19-15. Lapins came through with a pair of late kills and Zuloaga added another on match point to close it out.
Babson returns to action on Thursday when it hosts either Wheaton or Coast Guard in a NEWMAC Tournament semifinal at 7 p.m.
• The Beavers are 18-16 all-time against Mount Holyoke and 1-1 versus Sage, which it had not played since 2003.
• Babson's 19-match winning streak is the second longest in Division III behind Johns Hopkins, which has won 27 in a row.
• The Beavers' 9-1 mark in conference play is tied with the 2014 team for the best in program history.