NORTON, Mass. - The Babson Beavers defeated the Wheaton College volleyball team in straight sets Tuesday night, earning a 26-24, 25-10, 25-18 victory in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) contest at Emerson Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Lyons to 10-18 on the season and 2-7 in the NEWMAC, while the Beavers improve to 15-11 overall and 7-3 in conference action. The Beavers have clinched a spot in next week's NEWMAC Tournament and secured a quarterfinal match at home for the fourth consecutive season with a win over the Lyons.
Allison Cox and Cathryn MacGregor paced the Lyons with seven kills each, while first-year Cameron Mercer knocked down four. McKenna Milholland ended the match with 19 assists, while earning two digs and a block. Stephanie Martin led Wheaton with seven digs, while MacGregor and Sadie Stewart each pulled up six. Mercer, Cox and Claire Cansler each finished with two blocks for Wheaton.
Jenny Karnes ended with a match-high eight kills for the Beavers, while Kristin Carosotto knocked down five and Lorraine Mackiewicz and Catherine Hunter each contributed four. Elizabeth Cameron led Babson with 19 assists, while Annissa Lai led all players with nine digs. Gizem Yilmaz was a force to be reckoned with at the service line, ending the match with a season-high nine aces. Mackiewicz led all players with three blocks.
Despite dropping the first set, Wheaton ended with a .286 attacking percentage compared to Babson's .000. The Lyons kicked things off with a 4-1 run that saw kills by Cox and Milholland. Not to be outdone, the Beavers countered with a 4-1 of their own to knot the game at 5-5. The two sides battled the rest of the way with neither team holding more than a three point advantage. With the set locked at 24-24, back-to-back Wheaton errors sealed the victory for Babson.
Unforced errors proved to be detrimental to the Lyons in the second set with the team finishing with five attacking errors and eight receptions errors. The errors helped the Beavers capture a quick 7-1 lead with four of Yilmaz's nine aces. Wheaton was able to break up several Babson runs with a point here and there but the set belonged to the Beavers.
The third and final set started off as a competitive back and forth. With the set tied at 11-all, a Babson run started by Kristen Haislip shifted all the momentum in the Beavers favor.
Wheaton returns to the court on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Smith for a 1 p.m. NEWMAC contest.