CMS Volleyball Picks Up Two Sweeps on First Day of Cal Lu Fornia Invitational

CMS Volleyball Picks Up Two Sweeps on First Day of Cal Lu Fornia Invitational

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The No. 5-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team had a strong opening day of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational on Friday, sweeping both UC Santa Cruz and Linfield by 3-0 scores.

Set scores were 25-19, 25-13, 25-14 against UC Santa Cruz and 25-22, 25-12, 25-21 against Linfield. With the two wins, the Athenas improve to 5-1 on the season, while handing UC Santa Cruz (4-1) its first 2019 defeat. Linfield, meanwhile, slips to 1-5 with the loss. 

Senior right side hitter Amanda Walker led CMS in kills in both contests, picking up 13 against UC Santa Cruz and 11 against Linfield. Junior Lucila Grinspan hit .533 against the Banana Slugs with nine kills in 15 attempts with one error, and followed up with five kills in 12 attempts with one error (.333) against Linfield. 

In the opener against 4-0 UC Santa Cruz, the first set was tied 14-14 before the Athenas began to assert themselves. Senior Phoebe Madsen had three kills in an 8-2 run as CMS surged ahead 22-16. A Walker kill made it 23-17, and after a Banana Slug error brought it to set point, Walker finished it off from an assist from Madsen to make the first-set final 25-19. 

The second set saw CMS hit its stride after the score was 9-8 in early going. Junior middle hitter Regan Dinovitz had a block and a kill back-to-back to cap a 4-0 run and push the lead to 15-9, and Walker had two kills in another 4-0 run to make the score 19-10. Junior middle hitter Melanie Moore, Grinspan and Madsen then had three kills in a row to close out the set with CMS on top of a 25-13 score. 

The Athenas roared out to an 8-1 lead in the third set, capped off by an ace from sophomore defensive specialist Emma Thompson. The Banana Slugs got back as close as 11-8, but CMS responded to go back in front 18-11 on a Grinspan kill. Sophomore Jackie Jones then had three kills in a match-ending 5-0 run, including the final two, to finish off a 25-14 win a three-set victory. 

Jones had six kills in 13 attempts and Madsen had five in 12 attempts as CMS hit .310 as a team with 43 kills in 100 attempts with only 12 errors. The Athena defense forced UC Santa Cruz to a negative hitting percentage (-.010) with 20 errors and 19 kills, behind seven blocks from Dinovitz. 

The nightcap saw CMS get tested early as Linfield jumped out to a 10-2 lead, but CMS answered in loud fashion with a 13-0 run, capped off by the second kill from first-year outside hitter Sonia Bliss. Linfield responded to go ahead 22-19, but CMS closed out with a 6-0 run for a 25-22 win, with Walker tallying two kills and joining Dinovitz for the set-ending block. 

The Athenas also closed out the second set with a big run, turning a 17-12 lead into a commanding 25-12 final score. Madsen had three kills and a block during the run, including the kill to end the set. The third set followed a similar formula, with Linfield holding a 17-16 lead, but CMS closing strong for the 25-21 win, as first-year Izzy Sakoda set up match point with a kill, before a Linfield hitting error ended it. 

Madsen finished with 20 assists, 14 digs and seven kills as she came close to her third triple-double of the season. Senior libero Sarah Tritschler led the back row with 19 digs and also had 11 assists. 

CMS is back in action tomorrow on the second day of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational, taking on Concordia (Texas) at 11 a.m. and Puget Sound at 3:45 p.m.