Worcester, Mass. – Host Clark University sewed up a home playoff game by winning their ninth match in a row with a commanding 3-0 triumph over Emerson College in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) volleyball action on Saturday afternoon at the Kneller Athletic Center.
Prior to the match the program honored their five seniors – Mia Cattaneo (Santa Barbara, Calif.), Hannah Fox (Dracut, Mass.), Courtney Pharr (Seattle, Wash.), Savannah Sanford (San Anselmo, Calif.) and Tori Whitney (Sunderland, Mass.).
They then went out and extended their home winning streak to 14 straight including a perfect 12-0 this season, finishing third in the league standings for the second consecutive season. In the process, they locked up a home game for the upcoming NEWMAC Tournament Quarterfinals, which will be played on Tuesday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m.
Score: Clark University 3, Emerson College 0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-19)
Records: Clark University 21-7 (7-3 NEWMAC); Emerson College 17-11 (2-8 NEWMAC)
Location: Kneller Gymnasium, Worcester, Mass.
How It Happened:
The Cougars led for most of the first set and scored three of the final four points to put the set away. First, Jacqueline Jimenez-Maldonado (San Francisco, Calif.) hammered down a back line kill and then Fox followed suit to put the Scarlet and White ahead, 23-19. The Lions got one more point on an Amanda Linzmeyer (Huntington Beach, Calif.) kill, but Marina Ramos (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) got the final two points of the set – the first one on a kill that rolled down the top of the net before falling out of the reach of Emerson defenders and the other came in her traditional, powerful way, sealing the set.
Clark took control of the second set early on and never looked back, leading wire to wire in the 25-13 victory. After Moira Brennan (Glenview, Ill.) setup Lily Marella (Portland, Ore.) for a kill that made the score, 18-13 in favor of the Cougars, Emerson never scored again as the Scarlet and White rattled off the final seven points, highlighted by a pair of Ramos kills and another from Pharr.
The Lions came out with fire in the third set and went ahead 5-3, forcing a Clark timeout. The Cougars regrouped and took a brief 11-10 lead after another Ramos cross court kill.
From that point on the team's traded points until Emerson went ahead 17-16. Undeterred, Clark responded with three straight points on kills from Jimenez-Maldonado and Ramos and a service ace from Sanford.
A point from the Lions was followed by a match-sealing 6-1 spurt from the Scarlet and White capped by a pair of seniors – Cattaneo and Sanford – connecting for the final point.
"I am very proud of our team," said Clark University head coach Mickey Cahoon. "Earning a spot as the No. 3 seed in the NEWMAC Tournament is due in large part to how our players have worked and we are excited to host the first round of the tournament."
Rachel Webb (Celina, Texas), who entered the match needing just seven assists to set the school's single season record, surpassed the mark in the first set on her way to 35 assists on the afternoon, giving her 972 this year while moving into third on the school's all-time assists list with 1,869.
Inside The Numbers:
Ramos was extremely efficient offensively, finishing with 16 kills and 11 digs on a season-best .438 hitting, while Jimenez-Maldonado, Pharr and Ana Mercado (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) all have seven kills and Fox chipped in with six.