Volleyball

2017 NCAA DIII National Champions; 6 SCIAC Championships; 3 SCIAC Tournament Championships

Another High Five for CMS Volleyball, Athenas Edge Whittier in Fifth Set

Another High Five for CMS Volleyball, Athenas Edge Whittier in Fifth Set

WHITTIER, Calif. - The fifth-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team won its seventh five-set match of the season as it edged Whittier 3-2 (16-14 in the fifth) on Saturday evening to remain undefeated in SCIAC play.

With the win, the Athenas improve to 14-2 on the season, including 7-1 in five-setters (seven straight wins since falling 3-2 to Johnson & Wales in their first match of the season on Aug. 31). CMS is also now 5-0 in the SCIAC, remaining the only undefeated team in league play, while Whittier falls to 7-8 overall and 4-3 in league play. Set scores were 21-25, 25-17, 24-26, 25-20, 16-14 as the Athenas came from behind twice to tie the match. 

Sophomore middle hitter Melanie Moore had the winning kill for the 16-14 win in the fifth, after she also had the winning kill for a 15-13 win in the fifth against La Verne last week in the SCIAC opener for CMS. Three players also set new career highs for the Athenas, junior opposite Amanda Walker (23 kills), junior setter Phoebe Madsen (51 assists) and junior libero Sarah Tritschler (38 digs). 

The fifth set was tight the whole way with neither team able to take more than a two-point lead. Whittier held a 13-12 lead, but sophomore Lucila Grinspan came up with a big kill to tie it. The Poets fought off a match point after an error, but Walker put down her 23rd kill to give CMS a second match point at 15-14. Madsen then went down the middle to Moore, who put it away to give the Athenas another chance to celebrate a dramatic win. 

After falling 25-20 in the first set, the Athenas started the second set with a 5-0 run to grab the early lead. The Poets got as close as 14-11, but CMS was able to prevent Whittier from extending a hot streak, and then closed out the set with a 4-0 run to take a 25-17 win to even the score. Whittier led 23-21 in the third set before kills from Walker and Moore tied it, and a Poet error gave the Athenas a chance for a 2-1 lead. However, Whittier won the next three points for a 26-24 win and a 2-1 lead. 

The fourth set once again saw the Athenas extend out to a big lead, using a 5-0 run to turn a narrow 13-10 advantage into a commanding 18-10 lead. Whittier crept back to within 21-18, but Grinspan had a kill, and Moore and Jackie Jones had a block to restore a five-point lead at 23-18 and the Athenas were able to take the 25-20 win to get back level at 2-2. 

Grinspan had 12 kills for the Athenas, while sophomore Regan Dinovitz had 11. Madsen finished with 11 digs to go with her 51 assists, while Tritschler's 38 digs surpassed her previous career high set against La Verne last week (32). 

CMS has two home matches this week, taking on Chapman on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and Cal Lutheran on Thursday at 7 p.m.