Athenas Top Banana Slugs and Pirates in Saturday Sweeps

Athenas Top Banana Slugs and Pirates in Saturday Sweeps

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team completed the Cal Lu Fornia Invitaional on Saturday with a pair of sweeps. First it was 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-10) straight-set victory over the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs in the morning match. In the early evening, the Athenas took out Whitworth with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-13) sweep to finish with a 3-1 record on the weekend.

No. 9 CMS defeats UC Santa Cruz – 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-10)

CMS started the match with a 25-16 victory in the opening set. The Athenas steadily built their lead throughout the set. A 13-6 run helped the Athenas take a 3-2 lead into a 16-10 advantage. The Banana Slugs could not close the gap to less than five points and CMS cruised to a nine-point victory in the set. Margaux Arntson (CMC) and Crystal Anderson (CMC) each put down three kills to lead the offensive effort in the set.

UC Santa Cruz fell behind once again in the second set, but the Banana Slugs leveraged a 14-7 run to take a 17-13 lead. The Athenas came roaring back by winning the next nine points. It was Arntson again that paced the streak with six kills for CMS. After a couple of points for UC Santa Cruz, the Athenas won three of the final four points to close out the set, 25-20, and take a 2-0 lead into the third set.

The Athenas wasted no time, closing out the match in impressive fashion with a dominating 25-10 victory in the final set to complete the sweep. CMS opened up the set with an 8-0 run before cruising to the 15-point victory in the game.

As noted, Margaux Arntson was explosive in the match with 15 kills on 20 attempts for a blistering .700 hitting percentage. Crystal Anderson added 12 kills while Mikena Werner (SC) continued her stellar tournament with 18 digs in just three sets.

No. 9 CMS defeats Whitworth – 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-13)

After a two-hour break the Athenas were back on the court for their final match of the tournament. The Athenas used a balance attack in the match to put away the Pirates in straight-sets. No player on CMS finished with more than eight kills, but six different players put down multiple attacks in the victory.

Mikena Werner collected 26 more digs in the match to push her total for the weekend up to 86 (across 15 sets).

Despite an early 6-1 run for CMS in the first set, the score stood even at 6-6 after an attacking error from the Athenas. After a bit of a slow start, the Athenas closed out the set on a 19-9 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match. CMS took advantage of 12 Whitworth errors during that stretch, but did record six kills and two service aces to close out the set at 25-15.

The second set provided much of the same with the Pirates and Athenas trading early runs. CMS held just a one-point lead at 10-9 after a kill from Whitworth's Madison Douglas. A kill from Margaux Arntson started a 15-6 run that helped CMS close out the second set by a 25-15 score, just like the opening set.

After having to pull away late in each of the first two sets, the Athenas flexed their muscle at the start of the third set and opened up a 12-3 lead early in the game. While that lead was trimmed back to six points at 13-7, the Athenas put their foot on the gas and finished what they started by winning 12 of the final 18 points for the 15-13 victory in the set and a clean 3-0 sweep of the Pirates.

In the match, Clara Madsen (CMC) dished out 18 assists while also collected eight digs and four service aces.

The victory improves the Athenas to 6-2 on the season after a pair of 3-1 tournament weekends to open the season. CMS will next take the court when they travel to Atlanta, Ga. next weekend to take on Juniata and Emory on Friday in the East/West Challenge.