No. 10 CMS takes down No. 1 Emory in five sets with furious comeback

Shelbi Stein (Photo by Connor Ortman)
Shelbi Stein (Photo by Connor Ortman)

ATLANTA, Ga. – Last year, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team defeated then-No. 2 ranked Cal Lutheran. At the Emory Invitational on Sept. 19, the 2015 CMS squad pulled off an even bigger win, taking down tournament host and current NCAA Division III No. 1 Emory on their home court. It is the first time the Athenas have defeated a team ranked No. 1 since knocking off No. 1 Juniata on Oct. 11, 2008 at a tournament hosted by La Verne. Juniata finished that season ranked No. 3 in the AVCA poll. CMS is now 11-2 on the season.

The win over Emory capped off a big weekend in Georgia, as CMS played four matches in two days, going 3-1 with wins over Wheaton (3-1), Franklin & Marshall (3-1) and Emory (3-2). The lone loss over the two days came at the hands of No. 6 Washington University (Mo.), in five sets on Sept. 18.

Junior outside hitter Nicole Kerkhof (CMC) made all-tournament team for her efforts during the four matches. She had 58 kills and 61 digs, with 10 kills and 16 digs against Emory.

CMS defeated Emory 21-25, 29-31, 25-20, 25-21, 15-7.

After losing the first set, CMS trailed for the first half of the second set until sophomore defensive specialist Mikena Werner (SCR) evened the score at 15 with a service ace. Both teams then traded points and at 17-16, CMS took its first lead of the second set on a service ace by senior setter Tanner Hoke (CMC). CMS' lead grew to 20-17, but Emory answered back with four of the next five points. Later in the set, a kill by Kerkhof gave CMS a 24-23 lead but CMS could not put the second set away as Emory moved within one game of taking the match. Hoke came up with a team-high 31 assists in the match.

Sophomore outside hitter Shelbi Stein (CMC) came up huge in the match, with a career-high 22 kills, including seven kills in both the second and third sets. Her previous career-high for kills came during her freshman year when she had 14 against Texas Lutheran.

CMS came out on fire in the third set and led by as many as nine points at 19-10. In the set, sophomore setter Clara Madsen (CMC) had back-to-back service aces early on.

In the fourth set, Emory led by three at 10-7 after an attack error by CMS. Back-to-back kills by Kerkhof a little later gave CMS a 12-11 lead. At 14-14, CMS ran off four-straight points to go ahead 18-14 and they wouldn't look back. In the 4-0 run, sophomore outside hitter Crystal Anderson (CMC) came up with an assisted block and a kill. She had eight kills, six digs and five block-assists in the match.

Karissa Dzurik started off the deciding fifth set with a kill for Emory but CMS bounced back with the next five points and they would lead the rest of the way to finish off the win over No. 1 Emory.

Upcoming for CMS on the schedule is a road match at La Verne on Sept. 22

Box score (Emory)

Chris Watts
Director of Athletics Communication
Claremont McKenna College


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