Fourth regular season championship for Athenas in three set win

Fourth regular season championship for Athenas in three set win

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team earned the fourth regular season championship in program history with the three set win over Redlands (25-12, 25-11, 25-14) on Saturday afternoon. The Athenas finish the regular season in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 14-2 record, to tie with Cal Lutheran for the regular season title.

CMS and CLU were 1-1 against each other during the SCIAC season but the Regals earn the No. 1 seed going into the Postseason Tournament with the tiebreaker due to sets won.

While the team celebrated the match victory, it was subdued in comparison to what might have been expected from a conference championship celebration. When asked about this later, head coach Kurt Vlasich said, "The regular season conference championship is definitely an accomplishment that we want to celebrate but it is just one step toward our bigger goals for this season."

Before the game, seniors Nicole Kerkhof (CMC) and Natalie Creekmur (CMC) were honored for their contributions to the program over the last four years and Creekmur had her fifth career start.

Against Redlands, junior Shelbi Stein (CMC) put away 12 kills to lead in volume and efficiency for the Athenas. Junior middles Mariah Rigg (CMC) and Sarah Bruml (SC) were a force to be reckoned with. The pair accounted for 13 kills and two timely blocks.

Mikena Werner (SC) continued to lead the team with her superlative defense and passing. She recorded 19 digs in the match and has a 5.73 digs per set average, good for the top-25 in the country individually.

"We have had a hard-working week of practice and it showed up tonight. This team has many strengths and when multiple show up, we are tough to beat," noted Vlasich.

Box Score vs. Redlands

Against Whittier on Friday night, Rigg had another error-free night with six kills while Margaux Arntson (CMC) and Kerkhof each had only one error and had eight and 13 kills respectively.

Box Score vs. Whittier

CMS has its sights set on the SCIAC Postseason Tournament now. On Thursday at 7 p.m., the No. 2 seed Athenas host No. 3 seed La Verne in Roberts Pavilion. A tournament preview will be available early next week.

By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director

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