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CMS Volleyball Earns Quick Win Over Occidental to Begin Busy Closing Stretch

CMS Volleyball Earns Quick Win Over Occidental to Begin Busy Closing Stretch

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Playing its first of four matches in five days during the final week of the regular season, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team made quick work of Occidental, taking a 25-18, 25-15, 25-16 win over the Tigers to move closer to the SCIAC regular season title.

After finishing the match in just 1:18, the Athenas now stand at 21-3 overall and 12-1 in the SCIAC with three matches left to play. CMS has a two-game lead in the loss column over Chapman (pending Chapman's result with Cal Lutheran this evening) and can clinch the league title outright with wins in its next two matches before traveling to Chapman to close out the year on Saturday. Occidental slips to 7-15 overall and 2-12 in the SCIAC with the loss. 

The sweep was the fourth in a row and fifth in the last six matches for CMS, which began the year playing numerous five-setters in the early part of the season. In fact, seven of the first 12 matches that the Athenas played in were decided in five sets (with CMS going 6-1 in those matches), with only one 3-0 sweep in that span (a win over Southwestern). Over the last 12 matches, though, the Athenas have swept their opponents nine times, and gone 1-1 in five setters. 

Sophomore Lucila Grinspan had 10 kills in 19 attempts to be the only CMS player in double figures in kills on the day, hitting .421.  Sophomore Melanie Moore had eight kills in 16 attempts to go with a team-high four blocks, while junior Sarah Tritschler had 13 digs.

Occidental kept the first set close for awhile, trailing just 13-12 at the midway point before the Athenas used a 6-1 run to open it up, capped off by back-to-back service aces from sophomore Megan Dymerski. Freshman Jackie Jones had consecutive kills to make the score 24-15, and after a 3-0 mini-run from Occidental, CMS finished off the first set on a kill from sophomore Regan Dinovitz

The second set was also tight over the first half with the score tied 14-14 at one point. However, the Athenas closed it out with a 9-0 run to turn a narrow 16-15 lead into a commanding 25-15 victory. Tritschler had three service aces during the run, including back-to-back aces to make it 22-15, before Moore closed it out with a kill and two blocks. 

The third set saw CMS use a 6-0 run to break it open a little sooner, turning an 11-10 lead into a 17-10 advantage. Grinspan had two straight kills during the run to make it 16-10, before junior Amanda Walker finished off the run with a kill. Occidental finally stopped the run with a kill, but CMS used a 5-1 run, including two kills from Moore, to stretch the lead into double figures at 22-12, before cruising to the 25-16 win and the 3-0 sweep. 

CMS will head across Sixth Street to take on Pomona-Pitzer tomorrow with a chance to clinch one of the top two seeds and the right to host a SCIAC semifinal on Thursday, Nov. 1. The Athenas will then host their final regular season home match on Friday night against Whittier against 7 p.m.