CMS Volleyball Fights Off Cal Lutheran in Four Sets to Remain Unbeaten in SCIAC

Melanie Moore had six kills and six blocks, including a solo block on match point (photo by Daniel Addison)
Melanie Moore had six kills and six blocks, including a solo block on match point (photo by Daniel Addison)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Senior Amanda Walker had a kill and junior Melanie Moore had a block for the final two points of the match as the No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team held off a comeback attempt from Cal Lutheran to take a 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 27-25 win on Friday evening at Gilbert Arena in a battle of SCIAC unbeatens.

With the win, the Athenas move to 12-2 overall on the season and 3-0 in SCIAC play, while Cal Lutheran slips to 9-6 overall and 3-1 in the league. A year ago, CMS went 15-1 in league play with the only loss coming in a five-setter at Cal Lutheran, a loss which the Athenas avenged with a win in the conference tournament finals. 

CMS led 2-0 before Cal Lutheran came back for a 25-18 win in the third set, and then seemed to have all the momentum on its side with an 18-12 lead in the fourth. The Athenas, though, dug down with a big 7-0 run to take the lead at 19-18 on a kill from Walker. Moore and Walker also combined on two blocks during the run, while senior libero Sarah Tritschler added a service ace. 

Cal Lutheran responded to the run and took the lead back twice, but senior Phoebe Madsen had a kill to tie the score at 23-23. The Regals fought off two match points to get the score even at 25-25, but Walker put down a clutch kill to give CMS its third chance at match point. The third time proved to be the charm, as Moore came up with a solo block to give the Athenas the 27-25 win in the fourth set and the 3-1 win in the match. 

The first set was tied 17-17, before the Athenas used a timely 5-0 run to take control. Junior middle Melanie Moore started the run with a kill, and after Cal Lutheran stopped the run with a kill, senior Phoebe Madsen put the ball down to make it 23-18. An exchange of points brought the score to 24-20, and Madsen had another kill to finish off the 25-20 win. 

The second set saw Cal Lutheran pull ahead 10-6, but CMS used a 5-0 run to take the lead on two straight kills from junior Lucila Grinspan. After the Regals tied it 11-11, the Athenas rattled off the next four points, with junior middle Regan Dinovitz starting the run with a kill and a block and Madsen following with an ace. Grinspan then had two straight aces to make it 19-12, and after Cal Lutheran got back as close as 22-20, Moore finished off the set with a kill for a 25-21 win and a 2-0 lead. 

Walker and Grinspan tied for team-high honors with 11 kills apiece, while Moore finished with six blocks, three of which were solo. Madsen had 26 assists, 14 digs and seven kills as she flirted with her fifth triple-double of the season, while Tritschler (17 digs) and senior Lina Aluzri (13 digs) helped the CMS back row defense hold Cal Lutheran to an .094 hitting percentage. 

CMS will be back in action tomorrow when it returns home to face Whittier for a 4 p.m. match-up at Roberts Pavilion.