BOSTON, Mass. -- The Simmons University women's volleyball team was defeated by visiting 21st-ranked Babson College, 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-14), this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks' four-match win streak comes to an end as they fall to 6-4 on the season, while the Beavers, who are ranked in the most recent American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll, improve to a perfect 9-0.
Babson trailed on just two occasions during the match and hit a robust .340 as a team, while committing just eight attack errors.
Sophomore middle blocker Amanda Fortune (Round Rock, Texas) paced Simmons with seven kills on 12 attempts without an error to register an efficient .583 hitting percentage and added an ace, two block assists and a dig. Junior middle blocker Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.) contributed with six kills and a dig and sophomore Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.) put down five kills, picked up a dig and got up for a block assist. Junior setter Faith Gray-Williams (Las Vegas, Nev.) set for 22 assists and scooped up eight digs, while junior libero Morgan Lauvray (Murrieta, Calif.) led all players with 14 digs.
Puccio hit a formidable .419 for the match and added three digs and a block assist for the Beavers, while junior hitter Gaby Miller (Miami, Fla.) made the most of her nine swings with six kills for a torrid .667 hitting clip. She also added an ace and a dig to her night. First year hitter Laura Zuloaga (Naples, Fla.) chipped in with five kills on a .400 hitting mark to go with four digs and three blocks. Senior setter Elizabeth Cameron (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) directed the offense with 27 assists and a pair of kills to go with seven digs. Junior defensive specialist Cassidy Witten (Honolulu, Hawaii) got down for 11 digs to anchor the defense.
Babson came out on fire in the first set, hitting .462, fueled by five kills on six swings from Puccio. The Beavers built a 12-7 lead, including three kills from Puccio, before Simmons rallied for three unanswered points to pull to within 12-10, including a kill and an ace from Fortune. It was as close as the home team would get in the opening set as Babson put together an 11-3 run, fueled by three kills from first year hitter Jordan Lapins (Calgary, Alberta), to take a 23-13 lead, before the 25-14 set win.
The Sharks led on two occasions early in the second set, including a 6-5 edge, following a kill from Purser. The Beavers reeled off six straight points on Witten's serve to take an 11-6 margin and didn't look back. Babson later maintained a 15-10 advantage, before Simmons scored three straight points, including kills from Fortune and first year outside hitter Sydney Iannantuono (East Lyme, Conn.) to pull to within 15-13. The Sharks stayed within 18-16, but the Beavers scored seven of the final 10 points, including a trio of kills from Puccio to take the second set and a 2-0 match lead.
Babson dominated the first half of the third set, taking a commanding 12-3 lead, with Cameron behind the service line for seven points and Zuloaga and Miller putting down three kills apiece. The Beavers later held a 15-5 advantage, before Simmons scored five of the next six points to close to within 16-10, but it was as close as they would come. Puccio put down a pair of kills to cap a 7-2 run to give Babson its largest lead of the set at 23-12, before the visitors took home the set and the match.
The Sharks return to the court on Saturday, September 21 when they engage in tri-match play, hosting Great Northeast Athletic Conference rivals Lasell University at 10:00 a.m. and Regis College (Mass.) at 2:00 p.m. at Moore Gymnasium. The Beavers are also in action on the same day when they host New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference foe Clark University at 11:00 a.m. as part of a tri-match that will also pit Kean University against Babson at 3:00 p.m.