No. 8 Athenas Ace Panthers, Claim Tenth-Straight Victory

photo credit: Alex Alsop
photo credit: Alex Alsop

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The No. 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team took the floor on Friday night against the Chapman Panthers looking to avenge their only SCAIC loss of the season to date. The Athenas did just that, sweeping the Panthers in convincing fashion, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-7).

It was also senior night in Roberts Pavilion and the eight-member senior class put on a show for the home fans. All eight seniors made contributions in the victory, highlighted by back-to-back service aces in the third set by Jenny Smith (HMC). Smith's first career aces were part of an 11-2 CMS run that closed out the match and gave the Athenas their 10th-straight victory.

As a team the Athenas collected 15 aces in the match. Clara Madsen (CMC) led the way with a half dozen aces. It was their most in a single match since a 15-ace performance on Oct. 4, 2016 vs. Redlands. Their last match with more than 15 aces was two seasons ago against Caltech (Oct. 16, 2015), when they finished with 17.

Margaux Arntson (CMC) led a potent Athena attack with 13 kills on 21 swings for a .619 hitting percentage. In both the first (.517) and third (.480) set, the Athenas swung at a clip north of .480 and for the match finished with a .410 hitting percentage. The .410 hitting percentage marked just the second time this season that CMS posted a percentage over .400 as a team (Sept. 1 vs. Brockport, .446).

The match started with Chapman winning three of the first four points, but the Athenas flexed their muscle and ripped off the next five points to take a 6-3 lead. The two sides then traded points for the middle portion of the set. CMS held a 15-12 lead before they went on a 10-2 run to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead. The late run was fueled with a pair of kills from Isabelle Taylor (CMC), three kills from Arntson, and two kills from Sarah Bruml (SC). In addition to her pair of kills, Bruml added an ace during the streak.

After taking the first set 25-14, the Athenas fell into an early hole when the Panthers staked a 9-7 lead. Chapman held a lead as late as 17-16, but CMS once again closed the set on a hot streak. This time it was a 9-3 run that gave the Athenas the set. Arntson again led the charge with two kills over the final 11 points, while Shelbi Stein (CMC) and Phoebe Madsen (CMC) chimed in with a kill and an ace respectively.

Holding a two-set lead, the Athenas eyed the sweep and their 10th-straight victory heading into the third set. Unlike the first two sets, CMS was the one that started off the set on the right foot. The Athenas took a 9-1 lead and eventually held a 15-5 advantage when Jenny Smith stepped to the service line. With Smith serving the Athenas scored the next six points, including back-to-back aces to make it 21-5.

After a pair of points for the Panthers, CMS slammed the door with two aces from Clara Madsen wedged between kills from Arntson and Crystal Anderson (CMC). The kill from Anderson ended the set at 25-7 and gave CMS the 3-0 sweep.

The victory pushes CMS to 11-1 in the SCIAC and 19-5 on the season. The Athenas will be back at it tomorrow afternoon when they cross the street to take on the Sagehens at 4:00 p.m.