CLAREMONT, Calif. – The No. 7 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team took care of the Occidental Tigers in straight sets on Tuesday evening to claim their fifth SCIAC Championship in program history.
With two more matches left in the regular season, the 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-16) victory on Tuesday night pushed CMS to 13-1 in the SCIAC and gives the Athenas the 2017 SCIAC Championship. The win also locks the Athenas into the top seed in the upcoming conference tournament, which begins next Thursday.
Fresh off her SCIAC Player of the Week honor, Margaux Arntson (CMC) collected a team-high 13 kills on Tuesday night. Melanie Moore (CMC) and Shelbi Stein (CMC) joined Arntson with double-digit kills, each finishing with 11 in the match.
Mikena Werner (SC) and Sarah Tritschler (CMC) led the defensive effort for the Athenas, ending the night with 16 and 10 digs, respectively. Clara Madsen (CMC) and Phoebe Madsen (CMC) combined for 40 assists, helping the Athenas to their 12th-straight victory.
The three sets were nearly carbon copies of each other, not only in score but in the way they unfolded. In each set the score remained tight early in the game, until the Athenas took control with an extended streak. In the first set, it was a 12-4 run that pushed an 11-8 lead into a 23-12 advantage for CMS. During that run, five different Athenas collected kills with Regan Dinovitz (CMC), Arntson, and Moore leading the way with multiple kills.
After the Tigers pulled within seven at 25-17, Moore closed the set by putting down a swing off an assist from Phoebe Madsen.
In the second set, the score stood even at 5-5 before the Athenas rattled off eight of the next 10 points to stake a 13-7 lead. Following the 8-2 burst, the CMS lead never dipped below three as the Athenas continued to build their cushion. Isabelle Taylor (CMC) finished the set with a kill to give CMS the second set by a 25-16 final.
The CMS run in the third set came with the score level at 9-9. Arntson started off an 8-1 run with back-to-back kills before adding two more just a few points later. The senior accounted for four points during the run and a total of six kills during the set. The 8-1 streak gave the Athenas some breathing room at 17-10 and they rode that momentum to a 25-16 victory in the set, completing a 3-0 sweep.
As mentioned, Tuesday's victory gives the Athenas their fifth SCIAC Championship in program history. After tying for the top spot in each of the last two seasons, the Athenas stand alone atop of the conference in 2017.
It is the first time since 1993 that the Athenas have won the SCIAC Championship title outright.
With the title, CMS earns the top seed in the SCIAC Conference Championships next week as well as home court advantage throughout the tournament. Prior to the Conference Championships, the Athenas have two matches remaining in the regular season. The Athenas will travel to Whittier on Friday evening to take on the Poets, who are ranked third in the West Region, at 7:00 p.m. before finishing the regular season at home on Saturday night against Cal Lutheran.
Check CMSathletics.org early next week for game times and more information regarding the SCIAC Championships.