Athenas return to NCAA Regionals for fourth straight year

Athenas return to NCAA Regionals for fourth straight year

RICHARDSON, Tex. – For the fourth year in a row, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament. This season, the Athenas match up with Colorado College in the first round in an eight-team regional hosted by UT Dallas.

CMS plays at 3 p.m. (CST) on Friday, Nov. 11 at UT Dallas' Activity Center. Fans can attend for $10 (general admision, $5 for students/seniors/veterans) or follow live via the links below.

NCAA Bracket | Video | Live Stats

Four of the teams in the regional are ranked in the top-10 nationally by the AVCA. CMS comes in as the highest ranked as No. 3 followed closely by UT Dallas at No. 4. Southwestern is ranked No. 7 and CMS' opponent Colorado College comes in at No. 8. Seven of the eight teams in the regional are ranked in the top-25.

The Athenas (23-3) enter the tournament with an at-large bid after earning a co-championship with Cal Lutheran in the SCIAC regular season. CMS lost in the conference tournament final to CLU, the defending national champs.

In the three most recent NCAA appearances, CMS owns a 5-3 record. The Athenas have won their first round game in all three appearances and went to the Elite Eight in 2014 after winning the West Regional.

CMS is led by All-SCIAC performers Shelbi Stein (CMC), Nicole Kerkhof (CMC), Mikena Werner (SC) and Clara Madsen (CMC). Stein leads the team from the right side, hitting .304 on the season. She is predominantly set by Madsen who owns 5.03 assists per set. The Athenas are No. 2 statistically in assists per set and kills per set at 13.76 and 14.50 respectively. In her senior year, Kerkhof leads all Athenas with 283 kills on the season and 3.45 per set. Defensively, Werner sits at No. 27 in the nation at 5.72 digs per set. As a team, CMS ranks No. 6 with just over 20 digs per set.

Colorado College (27-5) is led by hitters Abbe Holtze and Marguerite Spaethling. Holtze is the only Tiger with over 3.0 kills per set and has a .235 hitting percentage. Spaethling and Glenna Yancey lead the team in blocks, each owning a 1.16 per set average. As a team, CC is 12th for 2.38 blocks per set.  The Tigers earned an at-large bid from the SCAC and will compete in their 19th straight NCAA Tournament.

CMS clashed with Colorado College in the NCAA Tournament in both 2013 and 2014. The Tigers ended CMS' run in 2013 with a 3-1 decision but then CMS won the 3-2 battle in 2014 en route to the regional championship.

Should both the Athenas and La Verne advance to the second round, the SCIAC programs will meet for the fourth time this season.

Tournament Schedule (all times CT):

Friday, Nov. 11
12:30 p.m. - Southwestern vs. La Verne
3 p.m. - Claremont-Mudd-Scripps vs. Colorado College
5:30 p.m. - Trinity vs. Hendrix
8 p.m. - Texas Dallas vs. Whitworth

Saturday, Nov. 12
1:30 p.m. - SU/ULV winner vs. CMS/CC winner
4 p.m. - TU/HC winner vs. UTD/WU winner

Sunday, Nov. 13
2 p.m. - Regional Championship Match

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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