Athenas take early lead but unable to finish, lose in five sets to La Verne

Megan Coleman (Photo by John Valenzuela)
Megan Coleman (Photo by John Valenzuela)

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team won the first two sets in the Friday night matchup with La Verne but then came up short in each of the three subsequent sets losing 3-2 (17-25, 16-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-13). The Athenas have played four-five set matches so far this season, two of which have been against the Leopards and tonight's was the only one CMS has lost.

CMS maintained a steady lead in the first set with freshman Margaux Arntson recording a kill with each of her three attacks in the set. The Athenas capitalized on ULV's 11 errors in the game and won 25-17.

The Athenas continued with the momentum they started in the first set to cruise to a 25-16 win. In the second game, freshman Mariah Rigg had four kills and sophomore Nicole Kerkhof added five.

Between the second and third sets, La Verne seemed to commit to rallying back into the match. In the third set alone, they had five team blocks, four of which included Kelsi Robinson. The Leopards minimized their errors while the Athenas had 11 in the set (compared to four in each of the previous sets). Despite senior Megan Coleman's 13 digs in the set, La Verne won 25-23.

The fourth set proved to be very close. CMS fell behind 20-14 during ULV's Brittany Yaxley powerful serve but then rebounded on Kerkhof's serve to take the 21-20 lead. By the time La Verne took a timeout, CMS had the 23-22 lead. The Leos won three straight points to take the set.

The Athenas rallied from a 13-9 deficit in the fifth set to tie the game at 13 points each. ULV won two straight points to ultimately win 15-13, the final kill by Yaxley.

Junior Audrey Breitwieser led the Athenas with 20 kills followed by Kerkhof with 15. Coleman had 33 digs on the night, the third highest this season.

Now tied with La Verne for the No. 2 spot in the conference, CMS (17-5, 8-2 SCIAC) takes on current No. 6 seed, Whittier tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Linde Activities Center.

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