CLAREMONT, Calif. – In the NCAA Division III volleyball selection show earlier this morning, it was announced that the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA postseason tournament. The Athenas boast a 24-6 record and placed second in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) regular season and conference tournament.
CMS will face off against Mary Hardin-Baylor in the first round match hosted by Cal Lutheran on Friday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m.
CMS is led by key contributors at each class level. The Athenas have three players with over 200 kills on the season: junior Audrey Breitwieser at 322, freshman Margaux Arntson at 247, and sophomore Nicole Kerkhof at 235. Setting these hitters are junior Tanner Hoke and freshman Clara Madsen with 633 and 555 assists respectively. Senior Megan Coleman currently is 15th in the nation for digs per set at 5.91, 567 total digs on the season.
In the regional, the seeding is as follows: No. 1 Cal Lutheran, No. 2 Pacific Lutheran, No. 3 CMS, No. 4 Trinity (TX), No. 5 La Verne, No. 6 Mary Hardin- Baylor, No. 7 Colorado College and No. 8 Whitworth. CMS has played against five of the seven other teams in the regional this season.
Mary Hardin-Baylor has put up a 25-5 record this year. The Crusaders won the American Southwest Conference tournament beating UT Dallas 3-1 for the championship and the automatic qualification. The Athenas faced the Cru earlier this season at a tournament hosted by Trinity (TX) and won 3-1.
Whitworth is 21-5 on the season and is the co-champion of the Northwest Conference (NWC) with Pacific Lutheran. Whitworth won the automatic qualification due to tie-breaker rules but is joined by PLU who earned an at-large. The Pirates finished the season on a 14 game win streak against NWC opponents.
Pacific Lutheran is 21-4 overall landing as co-champion of the NWC. This is the third consecutive conference championship for the Lutes and ninth under head coach Kevin Aoki since 1996. PLU handed the CMS its first loss this season when they faced each other at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational to the tune of 3-1.
Trinity joins the regional from the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) earning the automatic qualification as both the regular season and conference tournament champions. The Tigers put up a 28-9 record so far on the season. The Athenas played in a tournament hosted by Trinity in September and fell 3-0 to the Tigers.
Colorado College finished third in the SCAC regular season but with their strong non-conference schedule, earned an at-large bid after a 29-8 season. CC ousted CMS from the NCAA Tournament in 2013, 3-1. This year, the Athenas and Tigers have not met but CC came out to face other SCIAC opponents sweeping Chapman, Whittier and Pomona-Pitzer and lost 3-1 to La Verne.
La Verne earned the second at-large bid from SCIAC with a record of 20-6. The Athenas have a 2-1 record versus the Leopards this season most recently with the 3-0 victory in the SCIAC Tournament Semi-final.
The host, Cal Lutheran, touts a 28-2 record with its only losses on the season to CMS and Emory. CLU won its fifth consecutive SCIAC title and this is its seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
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