The CMS women’s volleyball team (26-3, 15-1 SCIAC) blew past Cal Lutheran (18-11, 11-5 SCIAC) in the SCIAC Championship last Saturday, defeating the Regals in straight sets. It was the second straight conference title for the Athenas, who enter the NCAA Tournament as defending National Champions.
The first two sets were competitive, with CMS winning 25-22 and 25-23. Cal Lutheran led late in each, including 23-21 in the second set, before Regan Dinovitz CM ’21 stepped up with a kill and three straight combined blocks to end the set for the Athenas.
This momentum carried over into the third, where CMS put on a dominant performance, downing the Regals 25-14.
Phoebe Madsen CM ’20 continued her outstanding season with 10 kills, 16 assists, and nine digs, earning her the SCIAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player award. Madsen has already had a highly decorated season, winning both SCIAC Athlete of the Year and AVCA West Region Player of the Year.
This marked the sixth straight year that CMS and Cal Lutheran have met in the SCIAC Championship. Although the rivalry has been evenly matched, with each team winning three times, all six matches were decided by a 3-0 score.
The road back to the National Championship will not be easy for the Athenas, who graduated eight seniors from last year. However, CMS has overcome adversity all season, fighting to remain ranked in the top 10 despite battling injuries and inexperience.
The NCAA Tournament begins Nov. 9 for the Athenas, who will travel to Saint Peter, Minnesota to face Augsburg University (22-8) in the opening round.