No. 4 seed Babson College defeated host and top-seeded MIT, 25-20, 25-11, 25-22, in the semifinals of the NEWMAC Championship Tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Senior Alicia Wilde led all players with 12 kills and added seven digs and three aces while classmate Mary Donahue was next with nine kills for Babson. Junior Lorraine Mackiewicz (Edison, N.J.) posted eight kills, six digs, and two aces as senior Elizabeth Sullivan collected a match-high nine digs. Senior Angela Price bolstered the back row with seven digs while junior Jenny Karnes chipped in two blocks. Senior Krissy Robertson rounded out the squad with 21 assists and two blocks.
Lisette Tellez ’18 and junior Megan Gebhard ’17 both had seven kills for the Engineers (28-3) as Tellez also tacked on six digs. Abby Bertics ’19 contributed five kills while Jennie Glerum ’17 notched five digs and two aces. Clare Farley ’18 earned a team-high three aces as Fiona Tanuwidjaja ’19 dished out 23 assists.
MIT held a 4-1 edge in the opening set following a Farley ace but Babson replied with a 10-4 run as a kill and an ace by Wilde put it up, 11-8. The visitors stayed in front until a kill from Alli Davanzo ’19 along with two more aces by Farley evened the score at 13. After trading sideouts, the Beavers gained some breathing room courtesy of kills from Mackiewicz and Wilde. The Engineers then rattled off five straight points, including three Tellez kills, to claim a 19-16 lead. A serving error resulted in Babson capturing nine of the last 10 points to win the frame.
The Beavers carried the momentum into the second stanza as they raced out to a 10-3 advantage. Miscues in addition to a kill from senior Meryl Gibbs ’16 brought MIT within four (11-7). However, this was as close as it would get as Babson mounted a 13-2 run, reaching set point on a strike by freshman Gizem Yilmaz. The Engineers extended the frame by capitalizing on a Gebhard kill and an attacking error but a serving miscue gave the Beavers the victory.
The final set was closely contested as it featured eight ties and three lead changes. With the score knotted at six, a trio of hitting errors along with a Glerum ace gave MIT a 10-6 lead. The Engineers maintained their small cushion for most of the frame as a kill by Gebhard moved the score to 15-11. A serving error sparked an 8-3 spurt with a Robertson block putting Babson in front, 19-18. An exchange of points ensued until back-to-back hits from Donahue gave the Beavers a 22-20 edge. A Gebhard strike cut the deficit in half but Mackiewicz and Wilde responded with kills of their own to capture match point at 24-21. Bertics’s kill kept the Cardinal and Gray alive, but Wilde secured the win with her 12th kill of the day.