CMS Volleyball Wins Ninth Straight with Sweep of Occidental

CMS Volleyball Wins Ninth Straight with Sweep of Occidental

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - First-year outside hitter Summer Ellis led a balanced offense with 12 kills as the No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team won its ninth match in a row, sweeping Occidental on Saturday evening to remain in sole possession of first place in the SCIAC.

Set scores were 25-11, 25-18, 25-16, as CMS improves to 22-3 overall and 13-1 in the SCIAC, winning nine straight since its only defeat to Chapman. The Athenas are now one game ahead of the Panthers with two games left and would have the tiebreaker advantage, meaning that CMS can clinch the top seed in the conference tournament with a win at home against Redlands on Tuesday night. 

Ellis had 12 kills in 24 attempts, hitting .417, in only two sets worth of work. Junior Lucila Grinspan had eight kills in 16 attempts with no errors, while senior Phoebe Madsen played exclusively at setter and had 35 assists. Senior libero Sarah Tritschler led the defense with 17 digs. 

CMS wasted no time taking control of the match, starting out with a 9-0 run to start the match, including four kills from senior Amanda Walker (three coming on consecutive points to stretch a 4-0 lead to 7-0). Occidental got as close as 10-5, but a Tritschler ace keyed a 3-0 run and CMS was able to cruise the rest of the way to a 25-11 win. 

The Athenas had another 9-0 run in the second set, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 12-4 lead. Junior middle Melanie Moore had three kills and a solo block during the run. The Tigers used a 5-0 run to get back within 20-14, but junior middle Regan Dinovitz had a pair of kills to right the ship and CMS finished off a 25-18 win. 

Ellis then had nine kills in the third set to key CMS to a 25-16 win and a sweep. The score was tied 8-8 in the early going, before sophomore Melanie Williams had three kills in a 6-0 run to push the lead to 14-8. With the score 15-12, CMS used a 5-0 run, with Ellis recording two kills, to push the lead up to 20-12. An Ellis kill made it 24-13, and after Occidental earned the next three points, first-year Sonia Bliss had a kill to finish off the match. 

CMS hit .291 as a team on the day, including .478 in the first set when it committed only one error. The Athenas held Occidental to only an .060 hitting percentage. 

CMS will entertain Redlands on Tuesday with a chance to lock up the top seed in the conference tournament, and then close out the regular season at La Verne on Saturday.