The Wheaton College women's volleyball team lost 3-1 (21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 19-25) during Tuesday night's New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) match in Clark University's Kneller Athletic Center.
The setback brings the Lyons' records to 9-21 overall and 2-6 in league play, while the Cougars improved to 10-13 and 2-6. Wheaton needs to defeat Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Saturday and get help from others in order to qualify for the six-team conference tournament.
Lyon freshman Arieanne Creighton (Brookline, N.H./Hollis Brookline) finished with a match-best 10 kills, while classmate Deirdre Wilson (Aptos, Calif./Aptos) neared a double-double with nine kills and a match-high 16 digs.
For the host, freshman Shannon Glass-Smythe (Albuquerque, N.M./Sandia Prep) tallied nine kills and eight service aces, while junior Rachel Spera (North Hollywood, Calif./Immaculate Heart Academy) handed out 26 assists.
Wheaton raced out to a 7-1 advantage in the first set, but a Spera block and kill gave Clark the lead back at 12-11. With the score knotted at 14, the Cougars went ahead 19-16 on the strength of Spera's service. The Lyons closed the gap to 22-20, but Clark scored three of the set's final four points.
The hosts didn't trail in the second set, holding leads of 13-9 and 20-15 before taking the six-point decision. Wheaton answered in taking a thrilling two-point win in the third set to cut Clark's lead in half, but the Cougars responded in the fourth and final set to secure the victory.
Wheaton returns to action on Thursday night with a non-conference home match against Emmanuel College at 7 p.m. The Lyons are also hosting a Dig Pink event for breast cancer awareness.