Western volleyball suffers two 3-0 defeats in one day at Babson

BOX SCORE vs. Western New England
BOX SCORE vs. Babson

From the desk of Christopher Buck - Babson College SID


MATCH #1: Babson def. Western New England 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22)
MATCH #2: Western New Eng. def. Western Connecticut State 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 27-25)
MATCH#3: Babson def. Western Connecticut State 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-12)

Regionally-ranked Babson College picked up two more victories on Saturday, as the Beavers defeated Western New England University, 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-21, 25-22), and then followed that up with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-12) win over Western Connecticut State University as part of a non-conference tri-match at Babson’s Staake Gymnasium. Ranked 15th in New England in the most recent NEWVA poll, Babson improved to 16-4 – just one win shy of last year’s season total.

In the neutral site match, WNEU (15-3) recorded a 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 27-25) sweep of WCSU (11-10).

After splitting the first two sets in the opener, the Beavers held off WNEU in the final two sets to secure a hard-fought 3-1 win in an outstanding defensive battle. First-year Mary Donahue (Braintree, Mass.) led all players with 18 kills and a .255 hitting percentage in the win, junior Christina Cervini (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and first-year Alicia Wilde (Franklin, Mass.) each added seven kills, and senior captain Kathleen Lynch (Quincy, Mass.) dished out 41 assists. Defensively, Babson totaled 86 digs as a team, led by 23 digs from sophomore libero Kseniya Stepanova (Upland, Calif.), 18 from sophomore Elizabeth Sullivan (Quincy, Mass.), and 15 from Lynch. The Beavers also posted nine total blocks, led by senior Cathy Tinker’s (Woodbridge, Conn.) 18 block assists.

Sophomore Kasey Cameron (Reading, Mass.) led WNEU with 13 kills in match number one, while junior Tyler Singh (Dumont, N.J.) chipped in with 10 kills and five block assists. Senior Devyn Frank (Mystic, Conn.) also added five block assists at the net for the Golden Bears, and senior Heather Mears (Amherst, Mass.) recorded a team-high 33 assists. In addition to their 10 blocks as a team, WNEU also defended well against Babson’s powerful attack with 100 total digs, including 29 from sophomore libero Grace Kucharski (Avon, Conn.) and 17 from Mears.

Kucharski had another big performance in the Golden Bears’ sweep of Western Connecticut State, leading all players with 24 digs. Frank added a team-high 12 kills while hitting .300 in the victory, and first-year Emily McGran (Lakewood, Ill.) added nine kills. Heather Mears amassed 28 more assists for WNEU, Jennifer Mears totaled 11 digs, and Singh had seven kills while leading all players in the match with five block assists.

WCSU received nine kills from sophomore Caitlin Van Camp (Redding, Conn.), as well as eight kills apiece from sophomores Nina Wojtkiewicz (Griswold, Conn.) and Heather Williams (Kingston, N.Y.). Sophomore setter Jennifer Hogan (Franklin Square, N.Y.) paced the Colonials with 32 assists, sophomore Shirley Rodriguez (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico) added a team-high 14 digs, and Van Camp and Wojtkiewicz each finished with 13 digs.

In the final match of the day, the host Beavers picked up a quick 3-0 sweep of WCSU behind a career-high 14 kills from first-year Alica Wilde (Franklin, Mass.). Lynch tacked on 35 more assists, Cervini hit .389 with nine kills, and first-year Krissy Robertson (Dedham, Mass.) hit a team-high .438 with eight kills. Tinker and Cervini led Babson’s efforts at the net with four block assists apiece, and Stepanova and sophomore Brianna San Diego (Daly City, Calif.) combined for 25 of the team’s 49 digs.

WCSU was led in defeat by Williams, who hit a match-high .462 with six errorless kills on 13 attempts, and Wojtkiewicz, who added paced the team with eight kills and 16 digs. Hogan notched 22 assists, and Rodriguez added 11 digs.