NEWMAC Tournament Preview: Wellesley At Clark

NEWMAC Tournament Preview: Wellesley At Clark

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Ticket Prices
Adults: $5.00 | Seniors: $3.00 | Students: $1.00 (Clark Students Free With ID) | Children under 12: Free

Welcome To The Kneller Dome
The Cougars have enjoyed one of the best home court advantages in the country. They finished the regular season a perfect 12-0 at home and have won 15 straight at the Kneller dating back to last season. 

Home Cookin'
The Scarlet and White have been nearly flawless at home. In addition to winning all 12 of their home matches, they have won seven of them by 3-0 scores. Only one match - their meeting with Amherst - went five sets, which they won 3-2. 

What Lies Ahead
The winner of this contest will face the winner of the matchup between No. 7 WPI at second-seeded Springfield on Tuesday as well. The two quarterfinal winners will face each other on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at MIT's Rockwell Cage.

The Gap Is Closing
The meeting with Wellesley is the seventh all-time in the postseason and the second season in a row where these two teams will face each other in the postseason. The Blue won the first five meetings all by 3-0 scores until last season's 3-2 Clark win. 

The Nation's Elite
This quarterfinal showdown will feature three of the nation's best players. Wellesley's Yasmine Reese and the Clark tandem of Marina Ramos (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Rachel Webb (Celina, Texas) all earned honorable mention All-America honors a season ago. 

Can You Dig It?
Earlier this season Mia Cattaneo (Santa Barbara, Calif.) became the program's all-time leader in digs and enters tonight's contest with 1,722 - nearly 400 more than the person in second place on the list. 

Don't Forget About Me
Joining Cattaneo as one of the program's best defensive players is classmate Savannah Sanford (San Anselmo, Calif.). Sanford also went over 1,000 digs this season and now ranks tenth on the program's all-time list. 

Dime Dropper
Rachel Webb is wreaking havoc on Clark's all-time assists list. Less than two full seasons into her career, she already ranks third on the school's all-time list (1,869) and last Saturday set the single season school record (972). 

Numbers Never Lie
Marina Ramos is etching her name all over the program's record books, too. She is already the program's all-time leader in kills (1,085) and has eclipsed the 1,000 dig mark but with 23 more kills this season she will break her own single season mark for kills in a season (415) which she set last year. 

Pharr Out
In the Cougars' 3-0 win over WPI, Courtney Pharr (Seattle, Wash.) moved into sole possession of second place on the school's all-time service aces list and now has 160.

Read That Again
Since the start of the 2015 season, Marina Ramos has had 20+ kills and 20+ digs in six matches. The entire rest of the conference has one. 

Double Trouble
Clark is one of two teams in the NEWMAC (Wheaton is the other) to have a pair of players sitting in the top ten in total kills. Marina Ramos (392) ranks first, while teammate Ana Mercado (288) sits at fifth.

Tuesday Blues
The Cougars have suffered nearly half of their losses on Tuesdays. They lost on the road to Daniel Webster (3-1) and to both Springfield (3-0) and to MIT (3-2) on a Tuesday. Clark is 17-4 on every other day of the week.

Back Row Brilliance
The Scarlet and White have one of the best defensive units in the conference. They lead the league in digs per set (18.10) and are aided by Mia Cattaneo (4th), Marina Ramos (6th) and Savannah Sanford (12th), who all rank among the league individual leaders.

Keep An Eye On ...
Wellesley setter Michelle Li (Scarsdale, N.Y.). She has six matches this season with 40 assists or more, including a career-high tying 48 in a loss to Endicott. She ranks sixth in the NEWMAC overall in assists per set (8.16).

Texas Two-Step
Rachel Webb has seemingly been at her best in her three career contests against the Blue. In those matchups, she is averaging a whopping 12.0 assists per set and doled out 51 in the Cougars 3-2 playoff win last season.

Block Party
Neither team excels at blocks when you look at the league statistics. Clark ranks 11th in blocks per set (0.78), while Wellesley is just ahead of them in eighth (1.04). To put that into perspective, Springfield All-American Lauren Holt, who one of these teams might face in the semifinal round, leads the nation at (1.67).

Jack Attack
Two-sport star Jacqueline Jimenez-Maldonado (San Francisco, Calif.) joined the Cougars in the spring and has fit in nicely. In addition to her role on the rowing team at Clark, Jimenez-Maldonado has posted nine matches with ten kills or more including a career-high 17 in the 3-2 win over Endicott. Overall, she is averaging 2.10 kills per set and has played in 27 of 28 matches.

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