Athenas Soar Past Comets, Blugolds In Pair of Sweeps

Athenas Soar Past Comets, Blugolds In Pair of Sweeps

CLAREMONT, Calif. – After a tough loss late Friday night, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team was back in action on Saturday with a pair of matches. The Athenas opened the second day of the Pacific Coast Classic with a match against Wisconsin-Eau Claire and took care of the Blugolds in straight-sets, 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-21).

After a full day of neutral site contests in Roberts Pavilion, the No. 7 Athenas were back on the floor for the highly-anticipated match-up against No. 8 Texas-Dallas. The Athenas flexed their muscle and took care of the Comets in three sets (25-15, 25-11, 25-18).

CMS defeats Wisconsin-Eau Claire 3-0 (25-22, 25-11, 25-21)

Margaux Arntson (CMC), Shelbi Stein (CMC), and Crystal Anderson (CMC) all had eight kills while Mikena Werner (CMC) kept the Blugold's offense under control with 19 digs. Clara Madsen (CMC) recorded 16 assists while her younger sister Phoebe Madsen (CMC) chipped in 12. Sophomores Phoebe and Sarah Tritschler (CMC) both co-led the team with three service aces.

The Athenas were unable to break away from the Blugolds during the first set until Arntson earned a kill off a setup from Phoebe broke the 9-9 tie. CMS went on a 6-0 run, during which Phoebe combined with Anderson for a pair of kills. The Blugolds came back to tie the game at 17 apiece, but a smash from freshman Regan Dinovitz (CMC) and a pair of kills from Arntson helped CMS retake the lead 23-20. An attacking error from Jessica Coyne of Eau Claire gave CMS the first set 25-22.

CMS stepped on the gas during the second set, pulling away early with a 12-5 lead. Werner put on a serving clinic, during the Athenas' run, denying Eau Claire from easy receptions and fooling them with a curling serve for an ace to keep CMS up front 16-8. Clara later dished a perfect toss to Anderson from a huge smash to extend the lead 20-10. A ball-handling error from Emma Richter of Eau Claire gave CMS the second set 25-11.

The third set proved to be a back-and-forth affair as Eau Claire found its rhythm on the quick tosses set up by Madison Surprise. The Athenas were quick to make adjustments to the opposing servers to hold off the Blugolds from going on a rally. Holding onto a 22-20 lead, Athenas managed to pull away after a bad set from Talia Jaskulske and a service ace from Tritschler. Sarah Bruml (CMC) closed the game 25-21 after a kill of a well-placed toss from Clara.

Box Score

No. 7 CMS defeats No. 8 Texas-Dallas 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-18)

While the nightcap featured two teams ranked in the top-ten in the AVCA Preseason Rankings, the match did not quite live up to the billing. The Athenas controlled the contest from start to finish, winning each set by at least seven points.

CMS started the opening set on an 8-3 run thanks to kills from four different Athenas including two from Margot Mafra Spencer (SC) and a service ace from Clara Madsen (CMC). The momentum from the early run was stifled when the Comets went on a quick, 4-0 run to pull within one. That would be as close as they would get the rest of the set. A kill from Margaux Arntson (CMC) ended the Comets' run and start an impressive stretch for the senior. Of the next 10 points, Arntson would register five kills to tip the scales in favor of CMS by a seven-point margin at 16-9.

The Athenas would steadily grow that lead throughout the rest of the set, eventually taking the first set by a score of 25-15. Just for good measure, Arntson won the final two points of the set with a pair of kills. She finished the first set with seven kills on 12 attempts.

The Athenas started set two by picking up right where they left off in the first set. CMS once again jumped out to an early lead, this time jumping out to an 8-2 advantage. The Comets pulled with four on two occasions in the middle of the set at 8-4 and 9-5, but CMS controlled play throughout the game eventually taking the set by a 14-point margin at 25-11.

Phoebe Madsen (CMC) fueled a strong finish in the second set for the Athenas with a pair of service aces and assists during a 7-0 run to end the set.

Holding a 2-0 advantage, the Athenas were eyeing a 3-0 sweep to end the weekend. Early in the third set, the Comets refused to roll over without a fight. A 7-4 run from Texas-Dallas gave the Comets a 9-7 lead; however, a service error from Texas-Dallas opened the door for an 11-3 run for the Athenas that gave CMS an 18-12 lead.

Mafra Spencer and Arntson highlighted that streak with each collected two kills each.

The lead ballooned to as many as eight at 23-15, before Arnston closed out the match with her 13th kill of the night, giving the Athenas a 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-18).

Arnston ended the evening with a match-high 13 kills on 23 attempts (.391 hitting percentage). Along with Arnston, Melanie Moore (six kills, .625 hitting percentage) and Regan Dinovitz (seven kills, .636 hitting percentage) paced the Athenas and had ultra-efficient nights on the attack.

The Madsen sisters finished the night with 33 assists combined, as Clara nabbed 17 and Phoebe delivered 16. Mikena Werner led all players with 13 digs in the match.

Box Score

The 3-0 sweep is the third such sweep for the Athenas on the young season. CMS will next take the court next weekend in the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational next Friday and Saturday hosted by Cal Lutheran University. The Athenas will kick off the tournament against Pacific Lutheran on Sept. 8. That match is slated for 12:30 p.m.