CMS Volleyball Takes Another Five-Setter, Edges La Verne 3-2 in SCIAC Opener

CMS Volleyball Takes Another Five-Setter, Edges La Verne 3-2 in SCIAC Opener

LA VERNE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team improved to 10-2 overall, including 6-1 in five-setters, as it hung on to defeat La Verne 3-2 in its SCIAC opener on Tuesday evening.

Set scores were 25-19, 26-28, 25-21, 15-25, 15-13, as sophomore Melanie Moore provided the winning kill at 14-13 in the fifth. Moore also had the winning kill in Saturday's five-set win over Texas-Dallas, giving the Athenas a 15-12 win in the fifth. 

Junior libero Sarah Tritschler set a new career high with 32 digs, while junior hitter Amanda Walker set a new personal best with 21 kills. Junior setter Phoebe Madsen had 38 assists and 18 digs for the Athenas, while Moore hit .480 with 14 kills in 25 attempts and only two errors. 

CMS took the first set and the third set, before La Verne answered each time to tie the match at 1-1 and 2-2. The fifth set saw CMS surge ahead with a 3-0 run to take a 7-4 lead, with a Moore kill sandwiched between two La Verne errors. After an exchange of points, La Verne responded with a 3-0 run to tie it 8-8. CMS led 9-8, 10-9, and 11-10 before the Leopards answered each time, and then took their first lead of the fifth at 12-11.

Sophomore Lucila Grinspan answered with her 12th kill of the match to tie the score 12-12 and two straight La Verne errors set the Athenas up with two match points. The Leopards fought off the first one, but Moore came through with her second winning swing in the fifth set in the last three days. 

The first set saw CMS use an early 5-0 run to take a 9-4 lead. Moore and Walker each had kills and then combined on a block to force an early La Verne timeout. The Leopards chipped away and got as close as 17-16, but Madsen ended the spurt with a kill to start a 3-0 run. Moore and Jackie Jones then combined on a block and Jones had a kill to put the Athenas up 20-16, and Jones added another kill to finish off a 25-19 win. 

There were some wild momentum swings in the second set, as La Verne used a 9-0 run early to turn a 10-5 deficit into a 14-10 lead, and then built a lead up to as high as seven points at 19-12. The Athenas responded with a 5-0 run to get to within 19-17 behind two Walker kills and an ace from Jones. La Verne forged back ahead 24-20 on the verge of a set win, but CMS rattled off five straight points, with a tying kill from Jones knotting the score at 24-24 and a kill from Moore giving the Athenas a 25-24 advantage and a chance at a 2-0 lead. The Leopards, though, fought back and pulled even in the match with a 28-26 win on a kill from Kelsie Sievers. 

CMS temporarily took the momentum back in the third set with a 5-0 run, building a 13-6 lead which was capped off by an ace from sophomore Lina Aluzri. Once again, though, La Verne answered, using a 6-0 run to turn a 15-8 deficit into just a one-point Athena lead at 15-14, and then pulled even at 19-19. Grinspan responded for the Athenas with two kills, sandwiched around a kill from Moore, to give CMS back a 22-19 advantage, and they went on to take it 25-21 on another Aluzri ace.

The fourth set had little drama, though, as La Verne seized control early, building up a 10-point lead at 14-4 and pulling ahead by as many as 15 points before settling for a 25-15 win to force it to the fifth. 

Grinspan had 12 kills, while Jones added 22 digs for an Athenas team that tallied over 100 digs as a team. In addition to Tritschler's 32 and Madsen's 18, Alzuri (11) and sophomore setter Jessica Lee (10) were also in double figures in digs. 

The Athenas will return to action on Saturday when they welcome in Redlands for a 4 p.m. match at Roberts Pavilion.