NEWMAC Finals Preview: No. 3 Clark at No. 1 MIT

NEWMAC Finals Preview: No. 3 Clark at No. 1 MIT

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What's At Stake
Back in the NEWMAC Championship for the second consecutive season, third-seeded Clark University (23-7) faces the daunting task of trying to topple top-seeded MIT (27-4) on their home court.

So We Meet Again
The Cougars and Engineers met earlier this season with MIT rallying for a 3-2 win. In that contest in late September, the Engineers were down 2-1 but won the final two sets, including the fifth set, 16-14.

How We Got Here
The Cougars knocked off Wellesley in the quarterfinal round before sweeping by second-seeded Springfield for the second straight year.

A New No. 1
Marina Ramos (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) finished Saturday's semifinal match with 21 kills, giving her 425 for the season - a total that not only leads the NEWMAC but establishes a new school record for single season kills.

Let's Review
In addition to Ramos yesterday the Scarlet and White got nine kills each from Ana Mercado (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Jacqueline Jimenez-Maldonado (San Francisco, Calif.).

This Is Why I'm Hot
Clark enters today's championship showdown riding an impressive 11-match winning streak. The Cougars haven't lost since a 3-0 defeat to Springfield more than a month ago (October 4).

Six For Six
Clark has yet to drop a set in either of its two postseason matches thus far. They knocked off Wellesley and Springfield by identical 3-0 scores.

Five For Fighting
The Scarlet and White are a combined 20-4 in matches that are either three sets (13-2) or four sets (7-2) but are just 3-3 in sets that go a full five.

Sunday Funday
The Cougars are just 1-1 on Sunday's this season.

Turning It Up
The Scarlet and White found the perfect time to come up with a season-high seven blocks in the win over Springfield on Saturday.

Helping Hands
Today's match will feature the two best setters in the NEWMAC. MIT's Christina Liao, who leads the league in total assists (1,047) and Clark's Rachel Webb (Celina, Texas), who is right on her heels (1,040).

Home Cookin'
The two teams are a combined 31-2 in matches played at their respective home courts this season. That total includes the Engineers 18-2 ledger at Rockwell Cage.

On The Attack
Today's meeting will feature two of the best attacking teams in the conference. MIT leads the league in kills per set (13.08) but the Cougars are third (12.16).

Incredible Effort
Earlier this season Mia Cattaneo (Santa Barbara, Calif.) set a career-high with 43 digs in that 3-2 loss to MIT. That total ranks in the top 20 for the season in all of Division III and are the second most in a NEWMAC match this season.

Marina's Magic
Also in that earlier meeting with the Engineers, Marina Ramos had a 20-20 contest, finishing with 21 kills and 26 digs.

20/20 Vision
Since the start of the 2015 season, Marina Ramos has had 20+ kills and 20+ digs in six matches - two of which have come in postseason play. The entire rest of the conference has one.

500 Club
Mia Cattaneo set a new single season record for digs in a season in the quarterfinal round win over Wellesley. She owned the previous record of 485, which she set last season, but enters today's match with 503.

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