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Jackie Jones finished with a career-high 21 kills (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Jackie Jones finished with a career-high 21 kills (photo by Caelyn Smith)

CMS Volleyball Outlasts Chapman in Five Sets to Stay Undefeated in SCIAC

ORANGE, Calif. – Senior Jackie Jones had a career-high 22 kills as the No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team played its first five-set match of the season at Chapman and came away with a 3-2 win to remain undefeated in SCIAC play on Tuesday evening.  

Set scores were 25-21, 18-25, 20-25, 25-19 as CMS improves to 23-1 overall and 14-0 in the SCIAC, clinching at least a share of the regular season title. Jones had 22 kills in 53 attempts to surpass her previous career high of 20 kills which she set earlier this season in a win over No. 2 Emory at the East-West Battle hosted by Cal Lutheran.

CMS came back from a 2-1 deficit and went the full five sets after a busy stretch which saw it play five matches in five days, including three in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Midwest Classic hosted by Calvin. The Athenas had a quick turnaround after their flight home and played at Chapman, the site of their only SCIAC defeat in their last season in 2019.

Jones had two kills to start off the fifth set, which were followed by a Georgia McGovern ace and a block from Melanie Williams and Kelsey Polhemus to put the Athenas ahead 4-0. Polhemus and Jones combined on a block to make it 5-1. After Chapman made it 5-2, Polhemus had a kill and Dede Carranza followed with an ace to put the Athenas ahead 7-2.

Chapman had two straight points to close within 12-8, but Jones put down her 22nd kill to make it a five-point lead. A Georgia McGovern ace brought CMS to match point, and a block from Williams and Polhemus finished off the match.

After splitting the first two sets, the Athenas trailed most of the third set, but got within 22-20 before the Panthers closed on a 3-0 run to take a 2-1 lead. CMS led most of the fourth set, but Chapman was able to claw back within a single point on several occasions. With the score 16-15 in favor of the Athenas, Sawyer had a block (with Jones) and an ace to put CMS ahead by three points, and an attack error stretched it to four.

Chapman got it to within 19-17, but a service error and a block from Polhemus and Williams restored the four-point lead, and Georgia McGovern's ace made the score 22-17. Jones had a back row-kill to make it 24-19, and Dede Carranza had a big dig to keep the point alive before a Chapman error closed out the set and tied the score at 2-2.

Sawyer had 14 kills and Williams added 10 for CMS, while Polhemus, the reigning SCIAC Offensive Player of the Week, finished with six blocks and hit .462 with eight kills in 13 attempts. McGovern had 34 assists to go with her four service aces, and Carranza finished with 19 digs defensively.

CMS will be back in action on Friday night when it entertains Pomona-Pitzer for a 7 p.m. contest in the regular season home finale for the Athenas. The Sagehens are 12-2 in SCIAC play and two games behind the Athenas with two to play, and CMS can clinch the outright regular season title with a win on Senior Day.