Smith Tops Cougars, 3-1
Worcester, Mass. – Anchored by a trio of excellent all-around performances, visiting Smith College picked up their first conference win of the season by posting a hard fought 3-1 decision over Clark University in NEWMAC volleyball action on Tuesday evening.
The Pioneers won by scores of 25-17, 25-14, 21-25, and 25-23 to improve to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in league play. Clark, meanwhile, slips to 5-4 overall and 1-2 in league action.
Smith raced out to big leads in both of the first two sets, including a 16-5 lead in the first and an 18-9 edge in the second.
After a slow start the Cougars woke up and finally took their first lead of the match in the third set, eventually coming out on top, 25-21.
The fourth set looked to be headed in Clark's favor as well as the Cougars held advantages of 11-7 and 13-10 midway through the set.
But the Pioneers battled back and grabbed an 18-17 lead and held on until Clark evened the set at 22-22. In the end, however, Smith proved to be too much, taking the last set by scoring three of the final four points.
The Pioneers got a fantastic effort from freshman Mei-Li Smith (Cypress, Calif.) who totaled 10 kills, 21 digs and 14 assists, while senior Blair Bell (Upper Montclair, N.J.) recorded nine kills, 33 digs and four service aces.
Two-sport star Rosa Drummond (Rye, N.H.) added nine kills of her own to go with 18 kills and seven blocks.
Clark was paced by the second consecutive match of 20 kills or more from freshman Shannon Glass-Smythe (Albuquerque, N.M.), who finished with a career-best 22. Mel Conde (Union City, Calif.) chipped in with 12 kills of her own, while Rachel Spera (North Hollywood, Calif.) added a match-high 35 assists.
Smith will return to action on Friday when they take part in the MIT Invitational, facing both Newbury College and Tufts University.
The Cougars are back on the hardwood in Thursday when they visit Salve Regina for a rematch of their five-set thriller from a season ago.