Conference Front-Runner Babson Knocks Off Volleyball in Three Sets

Kelly Rathje

Worcester, MA --- Babson used a balanced attack, including an efficient .407 hitting percentage in the third set, to defeat host WPI 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-13) in a NEWMAC women's volleyball matchup on Tuesday night at Harrington Auditorium. 

The Beavers, winners of 13 straight, improve to 18-5 overall and remain undefeated in conference play with a 7-0 ledger. With the victory, Babson begins the first school in the NEWMAC to clinch a postseason tournament bid.  WPI dips to 9-13 on the year and is still in search of its first conference win of the year (0-6). 

The Engineers notched the first two points before Babson reeled off eight straight points en route to a 25-16 victory in the first set. WPI went on a pair of 3-0 runs later in the frame. A trio of Beavers notched a pair of kills each, including sophomore Lorraine Mackiewicz (Edison, NJ) who posted a .500 attack percentage as senior Kseniya Pulido (Upland, CA) logged eight digs. WPI sophomore Kenzie Whalen (Hollis, NH) also had a pair of kills to go with six digs and four assists by sophomore Shay Feeley (Franklin, MA). 

Neither team had an advantage of more than two points  until the Engineers pushed their lead out to three on a trio of occasions. Babson eventually knotted the frame at 12-12 on a kill by junior Mary Martin (East Haddam, CT). After Feeley setup Whalen's kill to even it at 13-13, an Engineer miscue gave the guests the lead for good. Babson closed the stanza with an 11-5 spurt for the 25-18 triumph. 

The Beavers, who utilized a match-high 13 student-athletes in the set and hit at a .407 clip, never trailed following an early 2-1 advantage by the Crimson and Gray. The trio of sophomore Jenny Karnes (Houston, TX), junior Krissy Robertson (Dedham, MA) and sophomore Brittany Goldschmidt (Delray Beach, FL) combined for 10 kills while Robertson and junior Angela Price (Medway, MA) totaled 11 digs in the frame. 

For the match, the Engineers were paced by Feeley who narrowly missed a double-double with 11 assists and nine digs. Freshman Kelly Rathje (Scituate, MA) added eight digs while sophomore Cassandra Tomerlin (La Quinta, CA) chipped in with five. 

Goldschmidt led Babson with seven kills followed by Karnes and Martin with four apiece. Robertson had a match-best 14 assists and Price was credited with 10. Pulido doubled up her Engineer counterpart with a match-high 18 digs as junior Elizabeth Sullivan (Quincy, MA) added eight. Sophomore Alana Atchison (Pembroke,. MA) and Goldschmidt totaled seven block assists while Price and senior Brianna San Diego (Daly City, CA) combined for five of the Beavers nine service aces. 

WPI is right back in action Thursday with a 7pm conference road match at Smith.  Babson returns to the court Saturday, hosting Eastern Connecticut at 7pm.