The CMS Volleyball team dropped its season opener vs. Chapman University Monday night in Orange (19-25, 25-18, 25-27, 21-25). The Athenas' nerves showed early in set 1 as the team fell behind 5-11 before settling down and narrowing Chapman's lead to just one, 17-18. Chapman surged back, scoring 3 successive points. A CMS timeout at 17-21 was followed by a kill from junior middle blocker, Jamie Matusiak (CMC, Tucson AZ) but the Panthers closed the set out, downing the Athenas 25-19.
CMS controlled set 2, pulling ahead 10-3 behind excellent serving by senior Greer Donley (CMC, Leawood KS). CMS extended its lead to 17-8 before Chapman came alive, closing the gap to 5, but 2 CMS blocks and strong attacking from freshman, Sarah Marietta (SCR, Monument CO) gave the Athenas the boost they needed and the team won the set 25-18.
The teams traded points in set 3 before Chapman went on a 5 point run to pull ahead 15-10. A CMS timeout converted a point and the teams found themselves tied 25-25 in the late stage of the set. Chapman placed a shot to force set point and a hitting error by CMS gave the decision to Chapman, 27-25.
Set 4 was also a close set, but errors near the end of the competition cost CMS and they lost the match 21-25. Setter, Alex Harrison (CMC, Sr. Tucson AZ) had 43 assists in the effort. Marietta chipped in 11 kills in her college debut as did Matusiak. Sophomore defensive specialist, Jessica Waggoner (CMC, Scottsdale AZ) paced the defense with 20 digs. The Panthers' Cassidy Gayner led Chapman with team high 16 kills.
CMS moves on this weekend to host the Pacific Coast Classic. They will face a host of great competition, including nationally ranked Pacific University.