SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Clark University women's volleyball team snagged their fourth win in the last five chances on Thursday night as Sophia Torino's (Los Angeles, Calif.) 32 assists orchestrated a well-balanced attack from the Cougars en route to a 3-0 non-conference win against Western New England at the AHLC Gym.
Score: Cougars 3, Golden Bears 0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-22)
Records: Clark University (9-17) | Western New England (12-14)
How it Happened
Torino recorded her 17th career 30-plus assist outing during the non-conference victory, leading the match with her second consecutive such performance. First-year Claudia Rivera (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) found the floor for 14 kills while sophomore Margarita Perez-Maza (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) collecting nine on a .389 hitting percentage.
First-year Cameron Gill (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Torino each recorded five kills to aid the attack while Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) finished with four. Sophomore Marimo Oka (Fukuoka, Japan) came away with 11 digs to lead the team.
The Cougars opened the match in a quick 5-0 hole as the Golden Bears went on an early spurt to grab momentum in the first set. Clark chipped away throughout the set, tying it up at 18-18 following a kill by Gill. The play shifted momentum as the visiting Cougars took the lead on a service ace from Perez-Maza, with Rivera and junior Caitlin Kim (Cohoes, N.Y.) contributing two and one kills respectively down the stretch for a 25-22 set win.
Clark University opened up the second set with the early advantage, taking a 3-0 lead before Western New England matched the three point string. The teams battled closely for much of the set, until the Cougars pulled away at 17-15, netting eight straight points with two kills apiece coming from Torino and Rivera.
The third set became the closest of the match as neither team could gain more than a two-point cushion in the early portion. Clark went on a three point rally to take a 14-12 lead, but the Golden Bears came back to swing a 15-14 lead over to their side. Perez-Maza registered a kill quickly after to knot the score at 15-15, and the Cougars won the next three points for an 18-15 advantage. Clark University battled in the final segments of the match as one kill each from Gill and Legare helped steer the squad to a 25-22 set win.
Clark University returns to the Kneller Center on Saturday as it hosts local-foe Worcester State for the Cougars Donate Life match which begins at 1:00 pm.