After first set loss, CMS volleyball dominates La Verne and heads to SCIAC finals

A group of athletes huddle with their hands in the air in celebration, and more run to join them.
The CMS women’s volleyball team celebrates their win against La Verne at Roberts Pavillion on Nov. 7, which qualified them to advance to the SCIAC finals this Saturday. (Meghan Joyce • The Student Life)

The No. 1 seed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s volleyball team (15-1, 25-3 SCIAC) secured its spot in the SCIAC championship match by taking down La Verne 3-1 Thursday night. 

The first set was a back-and-forth battle between the two teams, but unforced errors by CMS allowed La Verne to pull ahead and win in a 26-24 nail-biter with 14 kills by the Leopards.

The Athenas jumped out to an early lead in the second set and cruised from there, winning the middle two 25-15 and 25-17. The final set was an easy victory for CMS, which started out with an 8-0 lead and only gave up 13 points total. 

The win marks the Athenas’ return to the SCIAC final for the seventh consecutive year. They’re currently ranked No. 5 nationally.

Right-side hitter Amanda Walker SC ’20 led the Athenas’ offense with 14 kills, while libero Sarah Tritschler CM ’20 and setter/right-side hitter Phoebe Madsen CM ’20 had 19 and 14 digs, respectively. 

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Coach Kurt Vlasich emphasized his team’s strong serving and blocking during the game.

“I think when we serve tough, and we have that sort of blocking performance, we’re a really tough team to side-out against,” he said after the game. 

“At this point in the season, it’s about little tiny things,” he added. “You’re not making major adjustments or major focuses in practice.”

CMS will host Chapman on Saturday at 4 p.m. in its bid for a third consecutive SCIAC title.

This story was last updated Nov. 8, 2019 at 2:02 a.m.

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