Worcester, Mass. – Clark University rallied behind the hot-hitting of Ana Mercado and the visiting Cougars topped Wheaton College, 3-2, in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball action on Tuesday evening.
Mercado registered nine of her 15 kills on the night during the crucial fourth and fifth sets as the Scarlet and White found their rhythm as the match wore on.
The win for the Cougars also solidifies a spot in the upcoming conference tournament. The seeding and hosting will need to be worked out as most conference teams still have at least two league games left. What is known is that the NEWMAC quarterfinal match will be played on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Score: Clark University 3, Wheaton College 2 (16-25, 25-16, 21-25, 25-10, 15-6)
Records: Clark University 16-7 (5-3 NEWMAC); Wheaton College 10-15 (2-6 NEWMAC)
Location: Emerson Gymnasium, Norton, Mass.
How It Happened:
In the opening set, the Lyons held Clark to just four kills and a .000 hitting percentage as they raced out to an early lead and took the set, 25-16.
The Cougars answered back in the second with the aid of ten hitting errors by Wheaton and took a 25-16 decision.
Now with the match tied at 1-1, the back and forth continued as the Lyons roared to a 25-21 victory in the third set. The hosts led wire-to-wire in the set with the Scarlet and White falling behind by as many as nine points in the frame.
The fourth set went to Clark as they staved off defeat with one of the best sets they have played all season. They hit .414 in the set and Mercado led the charge, registering four kills in the frame as the Cougars rolled to a 25-10 win.
In the fifth and deciding set, the Scarlet and White fell behind 2-0 but then reeled off five straight points capped by another Mercado kill on their way to an easy 15-6 victory to secure the match.
"Down 2-1, we really fought off adversity and a great opponent to play amazing fourth and fifth sets," said Clark University head coach Mickey Cahoon.
Inside The Numbers:
Marina Ramos (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) racked up a match-high 18 kills to go along with 17 digs to go along with Mercado's 15 kills. Mia Cattaneo (Santa Barbara, Calif.) collected 23 digs to lead the defense, while Rayme Quiban (Seattle, Wash.) chipped in 11.
Rachel Webb (Celina, Texas), meanwhile, handed out 39 assists to push her career total to over 1,700 in less than two seasons.
Clark continues its busy week when they host Western Connecticut State in a non-league affair at 7:00 p.m.