Athenas Volleyball Pulls Off Upset of #25 Occidental College
On Saturday night, the CMS Athenas volleyball team (9-7, 4-2) upset the #25 the Occidental Tigers (11-5, 4-2). To move into a three-way tie for 2nd place in SCIAC. The 3-1 win was dominated by CMS who used strong defense and resilient play to cement the win.
Game one saw strong efforts from both teams, leading 16-12 at one point, the Athenas found a way to steal a crucial game on the road 25-20. Game two saw more of the same intensity as both teams traded the lead at several points before CMS pulled ahead for another 25-20 win to go up 2-0 in the match.
After taking a commanding lead in the match, CMS struggled to get a rhythm going in game three as Oxy pulled ahead early, at one point leading 7-1. Despite being outscored 19-18 for the remainder of the game, they fought off the Athena rally and took game three with another 20-25 score.
There would be no fifth game as the Athenas came back in game four determined and hungry to seal a great victory over a strong opponent. Leads were traded, cheers were shouted continuously as both teams and their fans watched an extremely well fought battle. With a slim lead late in the game, CMS Junior Shalynn Ho (pictured) checked in to deliver several well placed and devastating serves that brought the Athenas to within one point of victory. An errant Oxy pass that barely cleared the net was all it took for Freshman Regina Mullen to get the match winning kill for a 25-21 win in front of a stunned Oxy crowd and a jubilant group of CMS fans who had made the trip out to Eagle Rock.
Athena Head Coach Kurt Vlasich shared these words a couple of days after the match: "Our win at Occidental was a big step forward in this season's goals for our team. To be able to walk in to another gym and steal a win in this conference would be the difference between top 3, and bottom 4. If we can win tomorrow night against Cal Tech, we would leave the first half with a 5-2 mark, and have great position for the second half. We know we almost took out Cal Lutheran, so we could just as easily be 6-1, but looking ahead, we are continuing to fix technical things that will help us improve and finish strong. Emotionally, the girls played very focused and were able to make minor adjustments to keep momentum for the duration of the match."
The Athenas return to action in the final match of the first round of SCIAC competition in Ducey Gymnasium on Tuesday October 4 against the Beavers of Caltech (0-10, 0-6). The match is scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM.