CLAREMONT, Calif. – The No. 7 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team went 1-1 on the first day of the Pacific Coast Classic. The Athenas cruised through Brockport (0-2) in a dominating 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-15) sweep before falling to No. 17 Millikin 3-1 (27-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18) in the final match of the day. Against Brockport, the Athenas swung at an impressive .446 clip with 39 kills as a team. CMS also collected 10 service aces in the match. However, Millikin (2-0) controlled the second game by putting a hand against nearly every attack and forcing the Athenas to work for their points.
No. 7 CMS defeats Brockport 3-0
Sophomore Isabelle Taylor (CMC) led the Athenas with 10 kills against the Golden Eagles while also collecting eight digs, tied for a team-high. Crystal Anderson (CMC) chimed in with nine kills of her own, while Clara Madsen (CMC) dished out 23 assists to lead the Athenas.
Holding onto a 5-4 lead in the first set, the Athenas broke out on a 5-0 run capped by three consecutive kills by Taylor to put CMS ahead 10-4. Clara went on to spark another brilliant run, tossing perfect back-to-back passes to Mariah Rigg (CMC) and Anderson during a 4-0 run to extend the lead 17-7. A ball-handling error from Brianna Richardson of Millikin ended the set and gave CMS a 25-14 first set victory.
The Athenas did not lose a step in the second set, leading 8-5, when Shelbi Stein (CMC) unleashed a clean kill off a perfect toss from Madsen to extend the lead. Phoebe Madsen (CMC) had a chance to show off her passing prowess after subbing in for her sister, and found Anderson at the peak of her jump. Anderson unleashed a powerful attack that found an open spot on the floor to put CMS ahead 15-8. Phoebe had a hand in the last two points of the set, dishing an assist to Margaux Arntson (CMC) before closing the stanza with a service ace.
Freshman Melanie Moore (CMC) had her chance to shine in the third set, serving up two consecutive aces to give CMS an 8-2 lead. Phoebe later fueled a 4-0 run. While she was serving, she feed an assist to Arntson and capping the run with an ace to push the Athenas' lead to 13-3. Arntson went on to finish the night with a solid hit off a pass from Mikena Werner (CMC) to secure the sweep.
No. 17 Millikin defeats No. 7 CMS
Millikin entered the game hot off a win against Brockport, riding on a wave of momentum. Arntson led the Athenas with nine kills while freshman Regan Dinovitz (CMC) and Anderson each had eight kills. Dinovitz also recorded a team-high five blocks. Emily Mihalkanin recorded 27 assists for the Big Blue while Erin Syversen delivered 17 kills. Maddi Holland protected the net for Millikin with a match-high seven total blocks.
The Athenas were tested in the first set as the two teams went back and forth in scoring until Werner led CMS on a 4-0 run to put the Athenas up front 20-16. However, the Big Blue finally caught its rhythm putting together a 4-0 run to take a 22-21 lead. Mihalkanin sparked the streak with clean tosses to her hitters on all four of the points. The two teams continued to trade points but Millikin prevailed after regulation as Rose Syversen found her sister Erin for a hit to close the set 27-25.
Momentum was on the Big Blue's side as Millikin went on a seven-point run in the second set to get ahead 16-7. The Athenas never found their rhythm as the Big Blue continued to maintain its nine-point lead until the end of the set, eventually claiming the set by a score of 25-16.
Moore was determined to prevent the shutout during the third set as the Athenas scored four straight points during her service. Dinovitz and Margot Mafra Spencer (SC) combined for a huge block to cap the run, putting their team ahead 20-17. Millikin tried to overcome the gap, scoring two straight points to cut the deficit 24-23. However, Werner helped the Athenas close out the set in regulation (25-23) with a dish to Arntson, who ended the set with a kill.
Unfortunately, the Athenas struggled to recapture their form from the prior set as receiving and attacking errors hurt them in the fourth set. Two service aces from Emily Seegmiller helped Millikin pull away during a 4-0 run to stay up front 13-8 and the Big Blue never looked back. Erin Syversen delivered a kill into the back right corner to finish the set 25-18 and the match 3-1.
The Athenas will return to Roberts Pavilion tomorrow for the final day of the Pacific Coast Classic. CMS will face University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at 9 a.m. and University of Texas-Dallas at 6 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information, stats, news, schedules, highlights, and more visit CMSathletics.org throughout the season and follow the Stags and Athenas on social media.