CMS Volleyball Defeats Texas-Dallas in Four, No. 5 Trinity in Five

CMS Volleyball Defeats Texas-Dallas in Four, No. 5 Trinity in Five

SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team won its third five-set match of the year by taking the fifth set 15-11 over No. 5 Trinity in its second match of the day on Friday at the Trinity Fall Classic. The Athenas also defeated Texas-Dallas in four sets earlier in the afternoon.

Set scores against Trinity were 25-20, 23-25, 15-25, 25-20, 15-11 as the Athenas stretched their win streak to five matches since an opening-day loss to No. 6 Johnson & Wales, improving to 5-1 on the season. In the Texas-Dallas match, set scores were 25-23, 18-25, 26-24, 25-22 as the Athenas pulled out all three of its set victories by narrow margins. 

In the Trinity match, the featured match of the tournament featuring two top-five teams, junior Amanda Walker came up big with 19 kills, including the clincher at 14-11 in the fifth set. Sophomore middle Melanie Moore also had 12 kills in 26 attempts, while junior libero Sarah Tritschler had 25 digs. 

In the fifth set, Walker had back-to-back kills to put CMS ahead 6-2, but Trinity was able to regroup and pull even at 8-8. CMS responded with a big 4-0 run, though, to take back control. After back-to-back errors, Moore and freshman Jackie Jones combined on a block to make it 11-8, and sophomore Lena Aluzri had a service ace to push the lead to 12-8. Jones had a kill to make it 13-9, and sophomore Lauren Gode added one to put the Athenas ahead 14-10, setting up the winner from Walker. 

Walker also had a kill to finish off the first set 25-20, after the Athenas took control with a 4-0 run to stretch an 18-17 lead up to 22-17. Trinity built up a big 18-11 lead in the second set, before CMS responded with a 7-0 run to tie it back up. With the score tied 23-23, though, the Tigers had back-to-back points to level the match. Trinity coasted to a 25-15 win in the third set, but the Athenas took control of the fourth, leading 24-16 before a harmless 4-0 Tiger run made the final set score 25-20, setting up the dramatic fifth. 

CMS had already won five-setters against No. 14 Carthage and Brandeis last week in the Pacific Coast Classic, and added a third five-set win to its season total already. Its loss to Johnson & Wales was also a five-set defeat. 

The first match didn't go five, but was still closely-contested as the Athenes battled to a 3-1 decision over Texas-Dallas, winning the first set 25-23, the third 26-24 and the fourth set 25-22. Junior setter/outside hitter Phoebe Madsen continued to produce strong numbers across the board, tallying nine kills, 20 assists and 18 digs to lead the Athenas in all three categories. Walker also had nine kills, while Moore and sophomore Lauren Widasky each had eight kills. Sophomore setter Jessica Lee also had a key role in letting Madsen move to a hitting position, tallying 18 assists and 15 digs for the Athenas, while Moore had eight blocks. 

CMS trailed in the fourth set 21-20 before a key 4-0 run set the table for the match victory. Madsen started the run with a kill, which was followed by a kill from sophomore Lucila Grinspan to give the Athenas the lead for good. Two errors set up match point at 24-21, and after Texas-Dallas fought off the first one, Grinspan put down a kill off an assist from Tritchsler to finish off the match. 

The first set also saw the Athenas pick up a key 4-0 run late. CMS led 20-17 before Texas-Dallas struck for five straight points to take a 22-20 lead. The Athenas dug down, though, and came up with the next four points, inclduing kills from Gode and Walker, to reach set point at 24-22. The first one was fought off by the Comets, but Walker earned a kill off a Madsen feed to put CMS ahead 1-0. 

After Texas-Dallas evened the score with a 25-18 win in the second set, CMS prevailed in a key 26-24 third set that never had more than a three-point spread either way. After Texas-Dallas fought off two set points to tie the score 24-24, Moore and Widasky came up with a big block, and Madsen finished off the win with an unassisted kill off an overpass to give the Athenas a 26-24 win and a 2-1 lead in the match. 

CMS concludes play at the Trinity Fall Classic tomorrow when it takes on Texas-Tyler (8:30 a.m.) and Texas Lutheran (1 p.m.).