NEW LONDON, Conn.-Trailing two games to none and down seven in the third set, the Coast Guard volleyball team scored 13 of the next 17 points to win the set before ultimately falling in a five set thriller to Babson in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference match on Tuesday night. Babson improves to 12-7 (4-2 NEWMAC) with the victory while the loss drops the Bears to 10-5 (3-2 NEWMAC).
After taking the first two sets (25-18 and 25-19) Babson seemed primed to pull off a shocking straight set upset against the host Bears while holding a 21-14 lead. However, Coast Guard had other thoughts and following a time-out by head coach Aylene Ilkson the team came out firing, scoring six points in a row to close the deficit to just one at 21-20.
Coast Guard would eventually prevail 27-25 before taking game four by a 25-20 margin to set up the tie-breaking set. Coast Guard fell behind 6-4 early before rebounding to take leads of 11-9 and 13-11 before four consecutive points by Babson gave the Beavers their first victory over Coast Guard since 1993.
Senior Kelsey DePorto led the Bears with a match-high 17 kills while sophomore Kelsey Hickle recorded a double-double, posting 15 kills and 13 digs. Sophomore Maggie Hine led the club in assists with a match-high 44 while senior Samantha Marmolejo tallied a match-best 22 digs.
Head coach Aylene Ilkson was naturally disappointed with the mistake but was appreciative of how Babson played, saying, "Babson is a really strong team, give them a lot of credit, they came out and played hard. This was a tough loss to digest especially since we fought so hard to come back."
Coast Guard is scheduled to return to action on Friday, October 4th when they take on Plymouth State and Regis at the Johnson & Wales Invitational.