SCIAC Tournament Champs: No. 9 CMS tops No. 8 Cal Lu for first tournament title

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – There is a new SCIAC Volleyball Postseason Tournament champion. For the first time in program history, the No. 9 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament championship after dethroning eighth-ranked and top-seeded Cal Lutheran 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19) on its home court on Nov. 7 at Gilbert Arena. After getting swept by Cal Lu in the tournament finals the previous two seasons, CMS returned the favor in 2015.

With the win, CMS earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships which begin next week. The Athenas find out where they are heading and who they are facing in the postseason when the field is announced on the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships Selection Show on Monday, Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. The selection show can be watched here.

Even at 4-4 in the first set, Cal Lutheran put way four-straight points to take an 8-4 lead. The match was tied on a few occasions and CMS led 13-12 after back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Crystal Anderson (CMC) and sophomore right side Shelbi Stein (CMC). Cal Lu took the lead back by two points and held the advantage for a few points until CMS took a 19-17 lead after back-to-back attacks error by Cal Lu. CMS stayed ahead for the remainder of the set to take a 1-0 lead. Stein dropped in the set-winning point for CMS, just in front of the Cal Lu player which ended a long rally that lasted roughly 30 seconds.

An attack error by Cal Lu in the second set gave CMS its first lead at 11-10. With the set knotted up at 14-14, CMS moved back in front after a kill from Anderson. At 21-16, CMS had its largest lead of the second game (they would equal that margin on two other occasions) when sophomore defensive specialist Mikena Werner (SCR) had a service ace. With another service ace, this time by sophomore middle blocker Sarah Bruml (SCR), CMS took the second set 25-20.

The third set saw CMS lead early but Cal Lu tied it up at 11-11 when Cal Lu blocked a CMS attack attempt. CMS opened up a 19-14 lead when Anderson and sophomore middle blocker Mariah Rigg (CMC) blocked a Cal Lu attack and they would be in front the rest of the way. A kill by Stein put CMS within a point of winning at 24-19 and then an attack error by Cal Lu gave CMS the sweep.

Stein and Anderson with both in double-figure kills with 13 and 12, respectively. Werner finished with a team-high 19 digs while sophomore setter Clara Madsen (CMC) finished with 26 assists.

Allie Eason and Monica Lundgren each had eight kills for Cal Lu. CMS had a .224 attack percentage and limited Cal Lu to .111 with 23 errors.

Box score

by Chris Watts
Director of Athletics Communication
Claremont McKenna College

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