MEDFORD, Mass.—Junior Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y.) and first-year Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta) combined for 20 kills while hitting .417 to help 16th-ranked Babson College defeat UMass Boston in three sets (25-16, 25-16, 25-13) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Medford Regional on Friday afternoon inside Cousens Gymnasium.
With its 22nd consecutive victory, Babson improves to 33-1 and advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row. UMass Boston sees its season come to a close at 12-19.
Lapins led all players with 11 kills and Puccio added nine kills and five digs for the Beavers, how hit .308 as a team. Senior Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) dished out 23 assists and sophomore Maddie Malee (Orlando, Fla.) recorded a team-high 13 digs in the win.
Sophomore Marcelle Tiscareno (El Paso, Texas) finished with six kills, junior Carsen Komminsk (Worthington, Ohio) handed out 17 assists, and classmate Tyla Parker (Mahwah, N.J.) led all players with 16 digs to pace the Beacons.
Lapins totaled seven of her match-high 11 kills in the opening set as the Green and White hit 433 as a team in the stanza. Babson jumped out to a quick 8-2 advantage and later got two kills apiece from Lapins and Puccio as part of an 8-3 spurt that extended the lead to 20-11 en route to a one-game lead.
The Beavers started quickly again in game two getting a pair of kills from Puccio and a block by senior Kristin Carosotto (East Greenwich, R.I.) and junior Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) to open a 7-1 lead. The Beacons rallied to tie the frame at 11-11 on a kill by UMass Boston first-year Mallory Reed (Alpharetta, Ga.) only to see Babson responded with a 14-5 spurt to close out the stanza. Puccio and Cameron both contributed two kills and the Green and White took advantage of four errors by the Beacons during the run for a two-set lead.
Babson made quick work of UMass Boston in the third, putting away seven kills over its first 10 points, and then scoring seven consecutive points on the serve of first-year Laura Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) to build a 19-8 edge. The Green and White had 12 kills and took advantage of nine errors by the Beacons in the frame.
Babson returns to action on Saturday when it faces No. 21 Johnson & Wales in the second round of the Medford Regional at 2:30 p.m.
• The Beavers are 28-8 all-time against UMass Boston.
• Babson is 5-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament first round matches.
• With 23 assists on Friday, Cameron has 961 this season and holds the top three single-season totals in program history.
• Puccio's 358 kills this fall rank fifth on Babson's single-season list.
• The Beavers have now hit better than .200 in 30 of 34 matches this season.