WORCESTER, Mass. – Clark University pushed Wellesley to four sets on Tuesday night before ultimately falling to the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) opponent, 3-1, at the Kneller Athletic Center.
Score: Blue 3, Cougars 1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21)
Records: Clark University (5-14, 0-6 NEWMAC) | Wellesley College (13-3, 7-0 NEWMAC)
How it Happened:
First-year Claudia Rivera (Guaynabo, P.R.) and classmate Cameron Gill (Shrewsbury, Mass.) combined for 26 kills with 14 and 12 respectively to lead the Cougars on the night while Sophia Torino (Los Angeles, Calif.) dished out 27 assists. Lauren Gendrey paced the Blue with a game-high 19 kills while Nicole Doerges tallied 13 of her own as Wellesley narrowly led the category for the match, 50-49.
Rivera got things going for herself in the opening set as the newcomer pummeled a kill to pick up the opening point of the match. Wellesley gained control shortly after with momentum staying on their side throughout the first set. With a 21-13 deficit, Clark began to inch its way back by controlling a 5-2 run to shrink the gap, with Torino starting the rally with her first of six kills for the match.
The Cougars rolled the late-production into the second set which opened up with the host getting out to a quick 8-2 lead with Gill, Rivera and Paige Kacherian (Rowley, Mass.) all aiding the run with kills. Wellesley cut the gap, 17-16, following four straight points, but the Cougars strung points late to take a 25-20 set win.
Clark started off the third set in a similar fashion as Margarita Perez-Maza (Guaynabo, P.R.) helped the host to an early 5-1 lead with one of her eight kills on the night. Control of the crucial third set quickly switched sides with the Blue using an 11-1 rally to take a 12-6 lead. The Blue never looked back en route to a 25-17 set win.
Wellesley led the final set from start to finish, starting with a 6-1 run. The early cushion proved to be important as the Cougars fought back while trailing 17-13, with Gill supplying two kills down the stretch to help fuel her team's comeback bid. But Wellesley was able to maintain its control, taking a 25-21 set win to clinch the match.
Clark University takes on Tufts University on Friday, October 11 as the Jumbos come to the Kneller Athletic Center for a 6:00 pm non-conference tilt.