Frontier grad Woodward helps Babson volleyball to 30-win season

  • Emily Woodward (second from left), of Deerfield, celebrates winning the NEWMAC championship for the Babson College volleyball team on Nov. 9. Along with Woodward are teammates Kristin Carosotto (#20), Erica Schwegman (#1) and Elizabeth Cameron (#15). COURTESY/BABSON ATHLETICS

  • Emily Woodward, center, celebrates for the Babson College volleyball team at the NEWMAC championship match on Nov. 9 in Babson Park.  COURTESY/BABSON ATHLETICS

  • Emily Woodward sets the ball for the Babson College volleyball volleyball team during the NEWMAC championships on Nov. 9 in Babson Park.  COURTESY/BABSON ATHLETICS

  • Emily Woodward celebrates for the Babson College volleyball team at the NEWMAC championship match on Nov. 9 in Babson Park.  COURTESY/BABSON ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/22/2019 10:04:38 PM
Modified: 11/22/2019 11:04:16 PM

During Emily Woodward’s time at Babson College, the volleyball program reached unprecedented heights.

But the Frontier Regional graduate’s impact at Babson wasn’t just felt in the gym but all over campus with Woodward’s goal of promoting wellness. 

For the volleyball squad, Woodward accepted a role with the Beavers and thrived throughout her career as a part of a senior class that broke multiple school records. 

The Beavers’ senior class of Elizabeth Cameron, Kristen Carosotto, Erica Schwegman and Woodward won 99 matches, which is the most in program history. 

“My class is really special,” Woodward said. “The talent that came in and the hard work we brought. But it also was the class above us that helped us. The junior class is absolutely amazing with the depth and skill. My class, in general, we have always worked hard since day one.” 

Woodward had 339 assists during her career for the Beavers. Eric Neely coached Woodward all four years at Babson.

“Emily is an incredible person,” Neely said. “We were so fortunate that she chose to come to Babson. Talk about a warrior in high school who won multiple state championships.”

Neely said Woodward had an intense presence in practice for the Beavers.

“Every single day bringing so much in practice,” Neely said. “To push our team. She was a member of the most successful class in school history. We don’t have that without the vicious competitions we have in practice. What Emily brought was a championship mentality to every single practice.”

On Wednesday, the New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference named Woodward to the All-Sportsmanship team. 

“One of the most special people I have ever encountered,” Neely said. “A complete leader. Not just on our team but on campus.”

Woodward, along with some of her teammates, was a member of Peers On Wellness (POW), a student leadership program devoted to promoting health and wellness on campus.

“I loved the opportunity,” Woodward said. “It focuses on helping the wellness of the student body. Anything from alcohol and other drugs, mental and physical health. Things like that.” 

During her days with courses and practices or matches, Woodward would attend POW trainings on various topics to assist the student body. 

“I was a resource in helping them when they had trouble with those things,” Woodward said. 

Babson featured one of the best setters in all of Division III in Cameron, which limited Woodward’s playing time.  

“I definitely took on a different role than I had in high school,” Woodward said. “In high school, I was kind of the big fish in the little pond. Everyone makes that adjustment as they go to college.”

Woodward had some matches against high school teammate Remi Quesnelle during her career at Babson.  Quesnelle plays at Endicott College.

“It was definitely weird at first being on the other side of the net,” Woodward said. “But it was so fun playing against people you know. It brings you back to Frontier days. It was always great to see her success and seeing how great her team is doing.” 

Woodward played in 51 matches during her career at Babson.

“Every year I just worked hard to just improve myself,” Woodward said. “Improve my playing for the team. You can be a leader in new ways that can benefit your team. Being humble and coming in and working hard every single day. Even if it isn’t your job that you are on the court 24-7.” 

The Beavers won a program record 33 matches during Woodward’s senior season. It was the first time ever that the Beavers eclipsed the 30-win plateau. The ascent began after Woodward’s first year with the Beavers.

“There’s been a huge transformation of the culture,” Woodward said. “My coach always says that every single year we are trying to have the best season that Babson volleyball has had.”

The season ended with a 3-1 loss to Johnson & Wales in the second round of the NCAA tournament. 

“We definitely felt like we could have gotten a lot farther in the NCAAs,” Woodward said. “Last year, we went to the elite eight and we really felt that  we could have gone at least there or farther. But we are still really proud of our season.”

The Beavers repeated as NEWMAC champions and won 21 straight matches heading into to the NCAA tournament. 

Babson has 38 consecutive wins at Staake Gymnasium in Babson Park, which is the longest active streak in Division III.

“We never tried to view it as pressure,” Woodward said. “We just viewed it as a challenge to keep it going. We love our home gym. We have great fans.”

Woodward has a job lined up at Ernst and Young, a tax consulting and advisory service, in New York after graduation. 

Woodward holds the school record in assists for the Red Hawks with over 2,000 during her career at Frontier. 

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