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Jenna Holmes had 19 kills for CMS (photo by Anibal Ortiz)
Jenna Holmes had 19 kills for CMS (photo by Anibal Ortiz)

CMS Volleyball Keeps Rolling, Takes Down Cal Lutheran in Three

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jenna Holmes had 19 kills as the second-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team remained undefeated after fighting off an early challenge from Cal Lutheran, capturing its 10th straight 3-0 sweep in conference play on Friday evening at Gilbert Arena.

Set scores were 25-21, 25-19, 25-11 as CMS now stands at 17-0 on the season and 10-0 in SCIAC. The Athenas have dropped only four sets all year, which came in non-conference 3-1 wins against UC Santa Cruz, Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Trinity and Emory in the season's opening two weeks. Cal Lutheran slides to 8-13 overall and 6-4 in the SCIAC with the loss.

Holmes had eight of her 19 kills in the first set as the Athenas battled to a tight 25-21 win. CMS trailed 7-3 early before two straight Holmes kills got the team jump-started. Cal Lutheran was still in front 12-10 before a 5-0 run gave them the Athenas their first lead, as Jackie Jones, Melanie Williams and Holmes all had kills during the run, while Georgia McGovern had an ace.

However, Cal Lutheran came right back with a 5-0 run of its own, taking back the lead at 17-15 and forcing CMS to take a timeout. Coming out of the break, the Athenas were able to seize control with a 6-0 run, keyed by three Holmes kills, to go ahead 21-17. Audrey Sawyer finished off the set with a kill for a 25-21 win to give the Athenas the 1-0 lead.

The second set was tight early, deadlocked 8-8, before CMS used a 4-0 run to get some separation. Cal Lutheran kept drawing back within two points, but the middles came up big for the Athenas to keep the Regals at bay. Sawyer accounted for four straight CMS points on three kills and a block, and when she was replaced on the front row by Kelsey Polhemus and the score still within 17-15, Polhemus followed with a kill and a block to push it to 19-15 and help send the Athenas on to a 25-19 win on a kill from Brenna Bell.

The third set saw CMS gain the upper hand early, going ahead 6-2 on a Dede Carranza ace and forcing a quick Cal Lutheran timeout. The run didn't stop the momentum, though, as the Athenas took a 10-point lead at 13-3 with the help of back-to-back Spencer Hagenbuch aces. Cal Lutheran tried to claw back, but Bell had three kills to answer three Regal points to prevent them from building a run, and the Athenas were able to coast in with a 25-11 win to complete the sweep, capping it off on the 19th Holmes kill.  

Carranza and Jones had strong efforts defensively with 18 digs apiece, as did setter Georgia McGovern, who had a double-double with 12 digs to go with her 28 assists. Holmes hit .381 on the day, with 19 kills on 42 attempts, while Sawyer, who came into the match ranked third in the nation in hitting percentage, had another efficient day with seven kills in 14 attempts and just one error for a .429 percentage.

CMS will be back in action tomorrow, when it returns home to take on Caltech for a 4 p.m. game at Roberts Pavilion.