WORCESTER, Mass. – The Clark University volleyball team continued the late-season winning ways as the Cougars downed WPI, 3-1, to notch their five-consecutive victory during a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tilt at the Kneller Athletic Center on Tuesday Night.
Score: Cougars 3, Engineers 1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-14, 25-16)
Records: Clark University (10-17, 1-7 NEWMAC) | WPI (14-11, 4-4 NEWMAC)
How it Happened
Sophomore Margarita Perez-Maza (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and first-year Cameron Gill (Shrewsbury, Mass.) provided a dynamic attack for the Cougars as the duo contributed 17 and 12 kills respectively in the win. For Perez-Maza, the kill total marked the most since tallying 18 back on September 10 at UMass Dartmouth. Junior Sophia Torino (Los Angles, Calif.) recorded a match-high 37 assists to facilitate the offense while sophomore Marimo Oka (Fukuoka, Japan) came up with a match-high 22 digs on the defensive end.
The teams battled back and forth during a closely-contested opening set, which led the only set loss of the night for the Cougars. Still, the host showed fight as the team battled back from a 15-10 deficit, pulling even at 15 apiece following a kill from Gill and an Engineer error. Later in the first set, the Cougars looked to be in charge as kills from Paige Kacherian and Gill swung a 23-22 lead in favor of the host. But WPI went onto win the final three mounts, including consecutive kills from Amanda Wetmore, to take a 25-23 set win.
Clark University evened up on the scoreboard in the second set while also gathering momentum that lasted the entirety of the match. It began with a 5-2 lead for the host with an ace from Perez-Maza getting the team there. WPI chipped away to cut the deficit, 8-6, but the Cougars sparked a run of five straight points to regain control over the second set. Shortly after, the host used another run for a ten-point cushion with kills from Perez-Maza and Gill bookending the sequence en route to a 25-17 set win.
The energy remained in set three as the Cougars sprinted out to a 6-0 lead, bolstered by a service ace from Torino. After three straight points from the Engineers, the Scarlett and White put together their longest rally of the night with four players contributing a kill during a seven-point unanswered string. Later on, the host utilized errors from WPI for another five-point run before taking a 25-14 set win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Clark University continued control over the match in the final set, starting with an early 5-1 spurt. The team took advantage of miscues from the opposing side the gain cushion throughout the frame, with Gill delivering two kills to aid the offense. With a 21-16 lead established, the Cougars went on the winning-stretch as Perez-Maza fired off three kills in a row to cap off a 25-15 set for the match victory.
The Cougars close out their 2019-20 season on November 2 when the team travels to Smith College for a 12:00 pm NEWMAC tilt.