WORCESTER, Mass. -- New England Women's & Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive Athlete of the Week Lauren Gedney (Huntersville, N.C.) finished with a match-high 19 kills as Wellesley College volleyball downed Clark University, 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21), in conference action on Tuesday evening at the Kneller Athletic Center.
Wellesley has now won eight matches in-a-row to improve to 13-3 overall (7-0 NEWMAC). Clark has lost nine of the team's last 10 matches and now stands at 5-14 overall and winless (0-6) in conference play.
Gedney totaled 19 kills on 38 attempts (.395) while sophomore Nicole Doerges (San Marino, Calif.) totaled 13 kills and 12 digs. Senior Meghan Shoop (Cypress, Calif.) matched Doerges with 12 digs and added three aces to lead the Blue. First year TylerBell Smith (Frisco, Texas) chipped in with seven kills and sophomore Izzy Seebold (Concord, N.C.) had 40 assists to pace the attack. Junior Molly Weik (Seattle, Wash.) dominated play at the net with three solo blocks and three block assists.
First years Claudia Rivera (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Cameron Gill (Schrewsbury, Mass.) combined for 26 kills to lead the Cougars, with Rivera totaling 14 and Gill adding 12. Sophomore Margarita Perez-Maza (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) added eight kills and sophomore Sophia Torino (Los Angeles, Calif.) totaled six kills, 27 assists, and 14 digs. Sophomore Marimo Oka (Fukuoka, Japan) was the match leader in digs with 24.
Wellesley took a 9-4 lead early in the first set and never looked back. The Blue would go on to take an 18-11 edge following a kill from Gedney before back-to-back kills from Nikki Jensen (Castro Valley, Calif.) and Doerges ended the set, 25-18. Clark rebounded in the second set, surprising the Blue with an 8-2 run to open the frame. Wellesley would eventually cut the lead to one, 17-16, but the Blue could not find a way past the hosts, dropping a 25-20 final that tied the match.
The Blue had to work from behind to start the third set, trailing 5-1 early, but an 11-1 Wellesley run turned the set in the Blue's favor. An ace from Molly Likes (Oklahoma City, Okla.) capped the run with Wellesley leading 12-6. The Blue continued on, taking a 20-14 lead on a kill from Doerges and ending the set thanks to back-to-back kills from Jensen. The Blue never trailed in the fourth set, opening the game with a 6-1 run that included a pair of kills from Gedney, en route to a 25-21 win to clinch the match.
Wellesley returns home for a Senior Day tri-match on Saturday, October 12. The Blue will play Worcester St. at 9:00 AM and FDU-Florham at 1:00 PM, with Worcester St. and FDU squaring off in the middle match at 1:00 PM. Clark will host Tufts in non-conference play on Friday, October 11, at 6:00 PM.