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jenna Holmes was the league's Newcomer of the Year (photo by Julian Rivera-Williams)
jenna Holmes was the league's Newcomer of the Year (photo by Julian Rivera-Williams)

CMS Volleyball Opens 2021 Campaign With Two Victories

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Jenna Holmes had 21 kills, including kills for all three of the Athena set points, as the CMS volleyball team opened its 2021 campaign with a 3-1 win over UC Santa Cruz on Friday on the first day of the Pacific Coast Classic, before adding nine more in a 3-0 win over St. Norbert in the nightcap.

With the wins, the Athenas open at 2-0 on the year, while UC Santa Cruz fell to 1-1 after the loss and St. Norbert dropped to 0-2. Set scores were 25-21, 25-25, 25-27, 25-23 against UC Santa Cruz and 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 against St. Norbert, when Holmes, Melanie Williams and Jackie Jones all had nine kills to lead the way. 

All four sets against the Banana Slugs were tight, as the first one was deadlocked 17-17 before a 4-0 CMS run gave the Athenas some control. UC Santa Cruz closed to within 23-21, but Williams and Holmes had back-to-back kills to close it out at 25-21. 

The second set saw CMS hold a 23-19 lead before three straight UC Santa Cruz made it a one-point game. Holmes had a kill to set up two set points, and after the Banana Slugs erased the first one, she finished off a 25-23 win for the second set and a 2-0 lead. 

CMS trailed 24-21 in the third set and nearly had a big comeback for a sweep, as senior libero Makenna Fall had two aces in a 4-0 run that put the Athenas ahead 25-24. Isabella Hoglund, answered, though, for Santa Cruz to tie it, and then had the kill on set point to make it a 2-1 match. 

The fourth set saw more drama as CMS led 20-15, but a 7-1 Banana Slug run caused the lead to switch hands. The score was tied 23-23, and an attack error gave CMS a chance to sew up the match, and Holmes finished it with her 21st kill. 

Holmes wasn't the only new face to have a big opening day. Audrey Sawyer had 10 kills in only 13 attempts, Brenna Bell helped swing the match in CMS favor with eight kills in 14 attempts in her two sets, and Georgia McGovern broke the 50-assist mark with 52. Williams also had 16 kills for the Athenas, while Fall had 26 digs, and Holmes had 17. 

There was less drama in the second match of the day, as CMS was never challenged, winning 25-18, 25-17, 25-17. Jones had nine kills in 17 attempts, and Williams had nine in 21 attempts for the offense, while Fall led the defense with 14 digs.

CMS will be back in action tomorrow on the second day of the Pacific Coast Classic, taking on Eastern Nazarene at 11:45 a.m. and Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 6:30 p.m.