The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women’s volleyball team (29-5) continued its run through the NCAA Division III tournament Thursday afternoon with a 3-1 (16-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-14) win over the Gustavus Adolphus Golden Gusties (26-7).
The match started poorly for the Athenas, who quickly fell to a 1-0 defecit, losing the first set 16-25. Yet, the team was unfazed by this start, and immediately began to fight back. In fact, CMS was prepared for this rough start, as they’ve dropped the first set in all four of their NCAA tournament matches thus far, and bounced back from each defecit.
From the start of the second set, it appeared as if the Athenas were looking to follow that same pattern again, as they came out and completely shifted their quality of play for the better, quickly taking the set 25-17.
CMS had the momentum of the match at this point, and didn’t take their foot off the gas, taking the second set 25-16.
Looking to finish the Golden Gusties off, the Athenas played their best set of the match, winning 25-14, clinching a berth in the National Semifinals.
The Athenas were led by SCIAC Athlete of the Year Margaux Arnston CM ’18, who finished off 16 kills, the most on the team. Seniors Shelbi Stein CM ’18 and Crystal Anderson CM ’18 also finished with double-digit kills, with 12 and 10 respectively.
CMS will now play the Ithaca Bombers (25-8) at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17. The Bombers are coming off an upset over the Emory Eagles (30-7), and will look to stop the Athenas winning streak. The winner will play the winner of top-ranked Witterberg vs TBD on Sat. Nov. 18.
This is the farthest the Athenas have ever advanced in the tournament, and if they were to win two more games, it would be the first National Championship for CMS volleyball.
Hank Snowdon CM ’21 is an economics major with a data science sequence from Columbus, Ohio. He has previously served as TSL’s editor-in-chief, managing editor and sports editor.