CMS Volleyball Cruises to Sweep of Whittier, Moves to 4-0 in SCIAC

Phoebe Madsen did a little bit of everything (19 assists, 9 digs, 7 kills, 5 aces) to lead CMS to the 3-0 win
Phoebe Madsen did a little bit of everything (19 assists, 9 digs, 7 kills, 5 aces) to lead CMS to the 3-0 win

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team put up arguably its most complete effort of the season, controlling the match the whole way to take a 25-15, 25-14, 25-17 over Whittier on Saturday afternoon at Roberts Pavilion to remain perfect in SCIAC play.

With the win, CMS improves to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in league play, remaining tied with Chapman for first place. Whittier sees its record slip to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

Senior setter/right side Phoebe Madsen had a strong all-around performance with 19 assists, nine digs, seven kills (in 14 attempts), and five service aces. Junior middle Melanie Moore had 10 kills in 15 attempts, hitting .600, and senior libero Sarah Tritschler led the back row with 20 digs, to go along with seven assists. 

An 8-0 run in the first set was when CMS began to assert itself, turning a 10-9 lead into an 18-9 advantage, with senior Amanda Walker tallying four of the eight points with kills. Junior Lucila Grinspan started the run with a kill and Madsen had an ace to make it 12-9. After a Whittier timeout, Walker had back-to-back kills, which was followed by another ace from Madsen. Grinspan added her second kill of the run, and Walker had two in a row for the second time to stretch the lead to 18-9. 

Whittier finally broke the run and got within 20-13, but CMS had the next four points, capped off by a solo block from Moore, to make it 24-13. After the Poets fought off two set points, Moore wrapped it up with a kill to give CMS the 25-15 win and a 1-0 lead. 

The Athenas kept the momentum going in the second set by jumping out to a quick 7-1 lead, with Walker tallying three kills and a block during the run, which was capped off by an ace from sophomore defensive specialist Makenna Fall. A 7-0 run stretched the lead to 17-5, and Moore had her second set-winning point to cap off a 25-14 win and put CMS up 2-0. 

Whittier stayed within 10-8 in the third set, before a 6-0 run put CMS on its way to the sweep. Moore, Grinspan and Madsen had consecutive kills to make it 13-8, before the trio duplicated the same sequence of kills a second time to make the score 16-8. First-year setter Spencer Hagenbuch had her third kill in three attempts to give CMS its 23rd point, before assisting Madsen for the final two CMS points. 

CMS finished with a .283 team hitting percentage on the day, while holding Whittier to .044. The Athenas also won 33 of its 48 sideout points (68 percent) compared to 42 percent for the Poets, while having a complete start-to-finish performance, something that Madsen said was a big step forward for this year's team. 

"We've had games where one set will be like that, and the next one it's not," she said, "so to kind of have a complete from start to finish is super important for us. Every single one of us made tiny little adjustments tonight that were subtle, but being able to recognize that's the difference between a clean game and one that's a little bit messy, it's really important for us to see the difference."

The Athenas will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Chapman in a head-to-head battle for first place, beginning at 7 p.m.