SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Double-digit kills from three different players propelled Babson College past Mount Holyoke College, 3-0 in the NEWMAC (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference) regular season volleyball finale on Saturday. With the win, the Beavers improve to 19-8 overall and 8-2 in the conference, while the Lyons end the regular season 10-12 overall and 1-9 in the NEWMAC.
Leading the Beavers was first year Allie Puccio (New Hartford, N.Y./New Hartford) who had a game-high 14 kills to go along with five digs. Classmate Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla./Westminster Christian School) and junior outside hitter Shannon Roseen (Malden, Mass./Mystic Valley) tallied 10 and 11 kills, respectively, while sophomore setter Elizaabeth Cameron posted a match-high 40 assists.
For the Lyons, sophomore middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Inst.) led the squad with eight kills and three total blocks. Junior outside hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe, N.M./Santa Fe Prep) finished the game with six kills, followed by classmate and middle hitter Jamesa Allen (Orlando, Fla./Lake Nona) who had five. First year setter Brayden Walden (Mckinney, Texas/McKinney North) led the team with 18 assists.
The Beavers came out strong in the first set, getting out to a 9-3 lead after a kill from Roseen. The Lyons made a quick push to bring the game to 9-6 after a Simine kill, but Babson got back on track and extended the lead to 20-13. Mount Holyoke got as close as six, but the Beavers powered to a 25-17 set win.
A kill from Simine to open up the second set ignited a 4-1 run that was culminated with a kill from junior right side hitter Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown). Babson countered with a strong run, scoring 20 of the next 23 points to take a 21-8 lead. The Lyons got back-to-back kills from Simine, but first year outside hitter Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla./Westminster, Christian School) laid down the final kill to end the set and give Babson a 2-0 match lead.
Momentum continued into the third set for the Beavers after kills from five different players put Babson up 8-2. The Lyons fought hard to tie the game at nine-all, using a 8-1 run powered by a pair of kills from Allen. Walden set Maran up for the kill on the ensuing play to give the Lyons its first lead of the set at 10-9.
The Beavers countered the Lyons momentum, scoring five straight points to take a 14-10 advantage. Mount Holyoke got two back-to-back kills from junior outside hitter Isabell Linde (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic) to help tie the game at 17-17. Babson took the lead after a kill from junior outside hitter Catherine Hinter (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) that led to a 7-2 run. After a kill from Allen brought the Lyons with in three (24-21), Puccio put down the final kill, giving the Beavers the set and match win.
Mount Holyoke saw Simine and Allen end the regular season amongst the NEWMAC's best statistically. Simine lead the conference in blocks per set with 1.04, while Allen was second with 1.01. Simine also was fourth in the conference with a hitting percentage of .328.