Bears Fall in NEWMAC Semifinals

Sophomore Susan West
Sophomore Susan West

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Second-seeded Babson advanced to its first ever New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship game with a 3-1 win over sixth-seeded Coast Guard in the NEWMAC tournament semifinals at MIT.

The Beavers won 25-13, 25-22, 21-25, 25-19 to improve to 25-8 while the Bears finish the season 19-12.

Sophomore Susan West led the Bears with 17 kills while hitting .385 to go with seven digs and a pair of blocks while junior Ashley Dumont added nine kills. Freshman Michelle McGill led the Bears with 15 digs while sophomore Michaela McKeown finished with 13 digs in the loss. Freshman Michelle Hernandez had a team-high 20 assists to go with 11 digs.

Babson jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first game and Coast Guard would get as close as 12-8 before the Beavers ran off seven of the next eight en route to a 25-13 win.

Coast Guard scored the first five points of the second game and led 11-6 before Babson used a 5-1 run to cut the deficit to 12-11. Coast Guard led 20-18 before Babson scored four straight to take its first lead of the game. The Bears would tie it 22-22 before three straight points gave the Beavers the 25-22 win.

Coast Guard again started quickly in the third leading 6-2 and would lead throughout winning 25-21.

In the fourth game, Babson led 10-5 before Coast Guard pulled to within 13-12, but Babson scored five of the next six for a 18-13 edge and continued to increase the lead to 23-15. Coast Guard scored four straight to close to within 23-19 before Babson scored back-to-back points for the 25-19 win.

"It was a great season for our young team and we fought hard until the end," said Coast Guard head coach Aylene Ilkson. "Susan West was fantastic for us today along with Michelle Hernandez and Michelle McGill, who contributed greatly. I'm really looking forward to the offseason and improving our individual skills along with team chemistry."

Coast Guard, which advanced to the NEWMAC tournament semifinals for the 14th straight season, does not have a senior on the roster. The Bears are now 4-10 all-time in the NEWMAC tournament semifinals.

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