CLAREMONT, Calif. - The third-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team had one of its most complete performances of the year as it rolled past Chapman in three sets in a battle for first place in the SCIAC on Tuesday evening at Roberts Pavilion.
Set scores were 25-20, 25-21, 25-15 as the Athenas improve to 15-2 overall and 6-0 in the SCIAC with the win. Chapman, meanwhile, sees its record fall to 15-3 overall and 6-2 in the SCIAC with the loss.
"We were really happy with having a very solid win to solidify our position as the No. 1 team in the conference," said junior setter Phoebe Madsen, who finished with 25 assists. "Our coaches had scouted them a lot and we had a very extensive game plan, and for the most part we were able to follow that which really helped us. It was definitely a really important match, and it was nice to have it over in three and win it pretty definitively."
Sophomore middle Regan Dinovitz, who recently returned after missing the early part of the season due to illness, made her presence felt, hitting .417 on offense with seven kills in 12 attempts, and then added nine blocks on defense.
"It's so nice having Regan back," said Madsen. "Regan was my middle last year (in a 6-2 system), and just getting her back and getting our connection back feels great. And as you can see tonight, she's such a key part of our defense; she had an unbelievable amount of blocks and just shut down their offense."
Madsen helped get the Athenas off to a quick start with three aces in an opening 6-0 run in the first set. Chapman battled all the way back to within a single point at 16-15, but Dinovitz had a kill and a block (with sophomore Lucila Grinspan) to get the lead back up to three. Chapman won the next two points, but a 5-0 CMS run essentially put the set away, with sophomore middle Melanie Moore having a kill and a block around an ace from junior libero Sarah Tritschler. Junior opposite Amanda Walker then finished off the set with an ace of her own for a 25-20 win.
The tables turned in the second set as Chapman was the team that jumped out to a quick lead, starting out ahead 5-0. CMS hung around, though, keeping the score within 14-11 before finally seizing the momentum with a 7-0 run. After a Chapman error, Moore had two straight aces, and then Dinovitz had a hand in three straight blocks to make the score 17-14, combining with sophomore Jackie Jones on the first two and with Phoebe Madsen on the third. Moore capped off the run with another ace to make it 18-14, and the Athenas were able to hold off the Panthers the rest of the way for a 25-21 win and a 2-0 lead.
The third set saw CMS extend a 9-8 lead to 13-8 with a quick 4-0 run, which started with a Dinovitz kill and ended with her solo block. Chapman was still within 15-11 before Moore put the match away with a personal 4-0 run on three kills and a block (with Grinspan). Dinovitz and Jones combined on a block to make it 24-15, and Walker finished it off with a kill to end the 3-0 sweep at 25-15 in the third.
Walker led the Athenas with 10 kills, while Tritschler had 15 digs to lead the defense. As a team, CMS had 15 blocks, compared to four for Chapman, and also had 10 service aces (four from Madsen), compared to four for the Panthers.
CMS will be back in action at Roberts Pavilion on Thursday night for another key SCIAC match, beginning at 7 p.m.