The CMS Volleyball team posted a pair of wins in its 2010 debut Friday afternoon (25-23, 25-19, 25-18). Opening the season with a match vs. Ithaca College (Ithaca, NY), the Athenas jumped out to a 5-0 lead in set 1 behind the serving of senior outside hitter, Kendra Huff (Downey, CA). Trading points, Ithaca then regained the serve and a three point run before a right side attack by Angela Estrella-Lemus (Sr., Gilroy, CA) gave CMS the 8-4 advantage. Strong setting by sophomore, Taylor Jones (Scottsdale, AZ) helped pace the offense and CMS led 22-18 before Ithaca battled back to pull within two points. A CMS time out, followed by a big block by Estrella-Lemus and middle blocker, Megan Levonian (So., Santa Cruz, CA) gave CMS a 24-23 lead. An ball handling error by Ithaca sealed the set 1 win, 25-23.
In set 2, it was Ithaca who took the early lead, pulling ahead 4-0 in the opening points. Kendra Huff returned the favor, going on a 5 point run of her own to pull the Athenas back to even. A strong tip by senior middle blocker Leanne Ringquist (Ben Lomond, CA) pulled the team ahead 9-8 before a serving error returned the ball to Ithaca. Tied 18-18, CMS regained the lead with aggressive serving by sophomore defensive specialist, Shalynn Ho (Mililani, HI). Taylor Jones connected with Ringquist on a slide play to go ahead 22-19 and won the game with a fast set to senior outside hitter, Allie Macy (Walnut, CA) who hammered a kill to close the set out 25-19.
CMS controlled the tempo all the way through set 3. The team jumped out to a 4-0 lead and maintained the advantage. Strong defensive play by sophomore libero, Katrina Lau (San Francisco, CA) and consistent swings from the outside attack helped build the lead and CMS closed out the match, 25-18.
The Athenas were led by seniors, Allie Macy and Kendra Huff who posted 9 and 8 kills, respectively. Huff also tallied 19 digs and registered just 2 hitting errors in the effort. Taylor Jones led both teams with 30 assists.
In the second match of the tournament, CMS faced regional opponent UC Santa Cruz (25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 30-32, 15-12). Continuing the ball control and aggressive play from match 1, the Athenas controlled the first set, and led by as many as 8 points before the Santa Cruz offense came alive and pulled within 3 points at 23-20. A strong effort by outside hitter, Emily Hudson (Jr., South Pasadena, CA) helped close the set out 25-21.
In set 2, CMS looked a bit sluggish, falling behind 2-6 before a tremendous dig by setter, Taylor Jones rallied the team to a series of strong plays to pull within 3 points, 11-14. Jones then contributed a run of 10 serving points, giving CMS a 22-14 lead. Ithaca sided out and scored twice more before a big hit by Huff stopped the Santa Cruz surge short and gave CMS the win, 25-22.
Despite strong efforts in the first 2 sets, CMS fell behind in set three and lagged the entire game, losing 18-25. The team fell behind again in set 4 and trailed 14-20 before an excellent block by Levonian and a series of kills from Huff helped the team mount an offensive attack. Tied 24-24, the teams traded points, eventually tied at 30-30, but a tough serve by Santa Cruz and a narrowly missed attack by CMS gave the Bananas Slugs the winning points, 32-30, forcing a fifth set.
Both teams continued strong play in set 5. Ahead 13-12, Megan Levonian had a decisive kill, followed by a block (finished with 6 overall) to seal the win for the Athenas, 15-12.
Kendra Huff finished the match with 13 kills and 10 digs to lead the CMS squad. Emily Hudson pitched in 11 kills of her own while middle blocker Leanne Ringquist added 9. Setter, Taylor Jones tallied 44 assists in the effort while libero, Katrina Lau notched a team high 16 digs. In her college debut, freshman right side attacker, Bennett Jones (Monte Sereno, CA) hit .500 en route to 5 kills.
CMS will continue Pacific Coast Classic play on Saturday. The team plays Manchester College (North Manchester, IN) at 10:00, followed by Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH) at 12:15.