CLAREMONT, Calif. - The No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team won in five sets for the fifth time this year in the morning, defeating UT Dallas 3-2, but then fell to No. 12 Washington (Mo.) 3-1 in the afternoon to see its winning streak snapped at nine on the second day of the East-West Challenge at Roberts Pavilion on Saturday.
Set scores were 25-23, 18-25, 25-18, 14-25, 15-12 against UT Dallas as the Athenas prevailed in their ninth straight match since an opening day loss to Johnson & Wales (R.I.). Washington (Mo.), though, took down CMS in the tournament finale with a 25-17, 20-25, 25-18, 25-21 to end the Athenas' win streak.
Junior Phoebe Madsen had triple-doubles in both matches, finishing with an impressive stat line of 11 kills, 22 digs and 29 assists against UT Dallas, and 10 kills, 10 digs and 23 assists against WashU. Junior Amanda Walker led the Athenas in kills in both matches with 15 in each, while sophomore middle Melanie Moore, who had the winning solo block last night, had five kills in the fifth set (including the match-winner) against the Comets.
The fifth set saw Moore account for four straight Athena points, the last of which put CMS ahead 6-5 before she went back to serve and had to wait for her spot in the rotation to come around to the front row again. A kill from sophomore Linden Conrad had the Athenas ahead 10-6, but UT Dallas came back with the next four points to tie it. A couple of Comet errors opened the door for CMS, and Moore finished it off with her fifth kill of the set and 11th of the match for the 3-2 win.
CMS also took a narrow win the first set against UT Dallas, as the Comets went ahead 23-22 late. However, freshman Jackie Jones came up with the tying kill, then went back to get the go-ahead ace. Sophomore Lauren Gode then finished it off with a kill for a 1-0 lead. That was mostly it for drama until the fifth, as the next three sets were all decided by seven or more points.
Sophomore Luclia Grinspan was also in double figures in kills for the Athenas with 13, while five players reached double figures in digs, led by Madsen's 22. Junior libero Sarah Trischler added 19, sophomore defensive specialist Lina Aluzri had 12, while sophomore setter Jessica Lee and freshman defensive specialist Makenna Fall each had 10.
The second match of the day saw CMS playing from behind almost the whole way through, but they did put together a big rally in the second set to tie the score. After falling behind 17-11 in the second and in danger of dropping behind 2-0 in the match, the Athenas went on a 7-1 run to tie it at 18-18, as Walker had a kill and a block with Gode for the final two points in the spurt. CMS went ahead 21-19 before the Bears answered with a point, but CMS won the final four, as Walker, Moore and Grinspan all had kills to give the Athenas the 25-20 win.
The third set saw CMS within 18-16 late before the Bears took control for a 25-18 win. The fourth saw WashU jump out to a 10-4 lead before the Athenas pulled back within 10-9 after three straight Walker kills. Walker had two more to give the Athenas a 15-14 lead, but it was short-lived, as WashU earned the next two points and went on a 10-3 run to surge ahead 24-18. The Athenas fought off three match points on kills by Madsen and Jones, and a bad set, but Ifeoma Ufondu had the winning kill after a timeout to thwart and miracle comeback hopes.
CMS will be back in action when it travels to La Verne on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. contest.
Final East-West Challenge Records
UT Dallas 1-2
Cal Lutheran 0-3
East-West Challenge All-Tournament Team
Julianne Malek (WashU) - Co-MVP
Melanie Moore (CMS) - Co-MVP
Sydney Riordan (UTD)
Lauren Schilling (UTD)
Maci Haddad (CLU)
Ifeoma Ufondu (WashU)
Phoebe Madsen (CMS)
Mady Arles (Emory)
Morgan Edwards (Juniata)
Marybeth Weihbrecht (Juniata)