Athenas Kill, Dig, and Spike their Way to Victory in First Sixth Street Volleyball Encounter

A female volleyball player puts her hands up
Outside hitter Stephanie Sun PO ’17 gets in position to defend the Athenas’ serve in Sagehens’ 3-1 loss to CMS on Oct. 13. • Lucas Carmel

The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (6-4, 6-2 SCIAC) and Pomona-Pitzer (8-10, 3-6 SCIAC) volleyball teams faced off in the Linde Activities Center for the first time this year on Tuesday, Oct. 13. Fresh off its three-game sweep against the University of Redlands (5-14, 1-9 SCIAC) the previous week, CMS came prepared to play and secured the 3-1 victory over P-P (25-12, 25-16, 20-25, 25-14). 

With offensive and defensive contributions from outside hitters Shelbi Stein CM ’18 (21 kills and 10 digs), Nicole Kerkhof CM ’17 (14 kills and 22 digs) and Crystal Anderson (12 kills), CMS established its dominance throughout the match. Additionally, 22 digs by libero Mikena Werner SC ‘18 and 40 assists and 16 digs by setter Clara Madsen CM ‘18 helped lead the Athenas to victory over the Sagehens. For P-P, outside hitter Stephanie Sun PO ’17 had seven kills and six digs, while opposite Kate Porter PO ’18 added eight kills and setter Jessica Finn PO ’18 had 24 assists.

CMS consistently led in the opening set due to strong offensive contributions from middle blocker Mariah Rigg CM ‘18, who scored three of her six kills in the first game. CMS furthered their dominance, with a five-point serve run and two aces from Stein to extend their lead to 14-5. Then, four consecutive kills from Anderson and middle blocker Sarah Bruml SC ’18 helped CMS continue to pull ahead. 

Though the second set was neck-and-neck with a 6-6 start, CMS pulled ahead to a 11-6 lead with a service ace by Werner and four kills from Kerkhof. Though P-P nearly closed the gap at 10-11, CMS maintained its lead with a six-point service run from Madsen. 

In the third set, P-P burst out of the gate swinging, at a 7-2 start against CMS with a five-point service run from outside hitter Sophie Janssen PO ‘19. Though CMS tied up the set at 17-17 with three kills by Stein, P-P closed out the set with a final kill from outside hitter Julia Zwaal PZ ‘19. 

Female volleyball players in a gym
Middle hitter Sarah Gamble PO ’17 gets her game face on and prepares to block the Athena attack. • Lucas Carmel

The fourth began as a tight race. Each team battled back and forth, with Anderson totaling four kills for CMS and three kills from Sun and Porter for P-P. With the Athenas up 13-12, Madsen stepped up to the service line and maintained an eight-point service run to give CMS a 20-12 lead. CMS closed out the game with a four-point service run by Kerkhof and three consecutive kills from Stein for a 25-14 finish. 

The rivals will face each other for a rematch on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 12 p.m. in the Rains Center.

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