SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Clark University used 19 kills from senior captain and outside hitter Marina Ramos to lift the Cougars past Mount Holyoke College in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) action on Tuesday. With the win, Clark improves to 14-9 overall and 5-4 in the conference, while the Lyons slip to 8-10 overall and 1-7 in NEWMAC play.
In addition to her 19 kills, Romos (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/CPN) added 19 digs. Junior right side hitter Ana Mercado (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico/Academia Maria Reina) also notched double-digit kills with 10 and also tallied eight digs. First year setter Justine Bohl (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) was the leading helper in the match, totaling 35 assists and eight digs.
For the Lyons, sophomore middle hitter Sasha Simine (Kitchener, Ont./Cameron Heights Collegiate Inst.) led the way with nine kills and three total blocks. Both outside hitter Joy Maran (Santa Fe./N.M./Santa Fe Prep) and classmate Sarah Caggiano (Leonardtown, Md./Leonardtown) each had for kills, while also adding 15 and 10 digs, respectively. First year setter Brayden Walden (McKinney, Texas/McKinney North) led the squad with 17 assists.
The teams started out even in the first set before the Lyons went on a 5-0 run to go up 7-4 behind a kill and service ace from Caggiano. The Cougars then battled to tie the game at 13-all, but surrender the lead once again after a kill from Maran (14-13).
Clark gained momentum towards the end of the set, gaining a 20-17 lead, but Maran stopped the run with another kill to make it 20-18. A kill from Clark's Ramos ignited a 5-1 run for the Cougars to take the first set, 25-20.
In the second set, the Lyons started out strong again with an 8-6 lead, powered by a trio of kills from Simine. The Cougars then got hot with four straight points, including two consecutive service errors from Mercado to take a 10-8 lead, but the Lyons tied it up at 10-all after an error from Clark. Out of a timeout, the Cougars went on a 5-1 run to go up 15-11 and never looked back. MHC came to within two, but two-straight kills from Ramos ended the set 25-16.
In the final set, the Cougars kept their momentum going up by as much as six (20-14). MHC began to close the gap starting with a Maran kill and used three errors from Clark to culminate a 5-1 with run to cut the deficit to just two (21-19). The Cougars regrouped to go up by three, but errors plagued them as the Lyons brought the score to 23-22 in favor of Clark. A kill and an attack error to end the stanza gave the Clark the set and match win.
Clark returns to action on Saturday, traveling to Plymouth, N.H., for tri-match action against Western Connecticut State (2pm) and the host Panthers (4pm). Mount Holyoke will also be in tri match action on Saturday, hosting Baruch (10am) and Westfield State (2pm).