CMS Volleyball Takes Four-Setter over La Verne in First SCIAC Home Match

First-year setter Spencer Hagenbuch had 18 assists and 12 digs, while going 4-for-4 on attack attempts
First-year setter Spencer Hagenbuch had 18 assists and 12 digs, while going 4-for-4 on attack attempts

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Tied at one set apiece and 20-20 in the third, the No. 4-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team used a timely 5-0 run and went on to take a four-set win over La Verne in its first SCIAC home match on Tuesday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

Set scores were 25-11, 26-28, 25-20, 25-18 as the Athenas were able to carry the momentum from their third set run into the fourth. With the win, CMS moves to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in SCIAC play, while winning its 25th straight home match against a conference opponent, dating back to a 2016 five-set loss to La Verne. The Leopards, meanwhile, slip to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in conference play with the loss. 

Junior middle hitter Melanie Moore had the top night offensively for CMS, registering 13 kills in 27 attempts for a .407 hitting percentage. Senior libero Sarah Tritschler had 26 digs, while first-year setter Spencer Hagenbuch finished with 18 assists, 12 digs and four kills in four attempts. 

CMS came out on fire and cruised to a 25-11 win in the first set, hitting .400 while holding La Verne to a .000 hitting percentage with six kills and six errors. the Athenas appeared to be well on their way to another lopsided win in the second after jumping out to a 13-5 lead, but La Verne dug down and came all the way back to tie the score at 16-16 and then took the lead at 22-21. An ace from senior Lina Aluzri gave CMS a set point at 24-23, but the Leopards fought it off and took a 28-26 win to even the match at a set apiece. 

The third set saw both teams alternate scoring runs, with CMS getting five straight points for a 10-6 lead, La Verne tying it back up at 10-10, the Athenas surging ahead 13-10, and the Leopards again tying it 13-13. The score was still tied at 20-20 when Hagenbuch had one of her four kills off of fake sets to give CMS the lead for good. A kill from Moore made the score 24-20 and the Athenas took a 2-1 lead when La Verne was unable to connect on a set attempt. 

With momentum on its side, CMS jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the fourth set, with senior setter Phoebe Madsen and junior middle Regan Dinovitz capping the run off with a block. A kill from first-year hitter Sonia Bliss extended the lead to 17-9, and another from Bliss put CMS ahead 23-17. After La Verne won the next point, Hagenbuch tallied her fourth kill and then set up Moore on match point to cap off a 25-18 fourth set and a 3-1 win. 

Senior Amanda Walker was also in double figures in kills for CMS with 12, while Dinovitz had eight in 16 attempts. Madsen, alternating between the setter and right side hitter positions, had a strong all-around stat line with seven kills, 26 assists, eight digs, five blocks and three aces. 

CMS will be back in action on Friday for a road test at Cal Lutheran, the site of its only conference loss a year ago, and will then return home to face Whittier on Saturday at 4 p.m.