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CMS Clinches Outright SCIAC Regular Season Title with Dominant Win Over Pomona-Pitzer

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team, ranked No. 3 in the nation, secured the outright regular season SCIAC title with a quick three-set win over second-place Pomona-Pitzer as part of Senior Day on Friday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

Set scores were 25-15, 25-17, 25-15 as CMS hit .471 as team on its way to a statement win. The Athenas now stand at 24-1 on the season and 15-0 in the SCIAC, one win away (at Whittier tomorrow) from becoming the first team in program history to go undefeated in the SCIAC (the last three teams all finished 15-1, including the national title team in 2017).

Pomona-Pitzer came into the day two games behind the Athenas and would have have pulled within one with a win heading into tomorrow's finale, but falls to 16-9 overall and 12-3 in the league. The Sagehens will still be the No. 2 seed in the SCIAC Tournament, despite the defeat. 

Seniors Makenna Fall and Melanie Williams were honored pregame for Senior Day as part of their final regular season home game. The duo has been a part of three SCIAC regular season titles in three seasons of competition, and have a career record of 78-9 after picking up the win over Pomona-Pitzer this evening, including 45-2 in SCIAC matches. 

CMS began the 2021 year with a 21-0 record, before suffering its first loss at No. 6 Calvin on Friday night in four sets, and then after making the trip back from Michigan (where it also picked up wins over No. 4 Hope and No. 14 Ohio Northern), the Athenas were pushed to the limit on the road at Chapman on Tuesday night. In addition to wanting to secure the SCIAC regular season title outright and stay undefeated in the league, CMS also headed into Friday night's matchup looking to start clicking on all cylinders again, with the postseason looming next week. 

CMS did just that with a dominant effort, tallying 45 kills and only four errors on the night, hitting over .500 as a team in each of the first two sets (.522 in the first, .533 in the second). Jackie Jones had nine kills in 16 attempts with no errors, Brenna Bell had six kills in 10 attempts with no errors, and Kelsey Polhemus had five kills in eight attempts with no errors.

Setters Georgia McGovern and Spencer Hagenbuch split the duties evenly with 18 assists apiece, while libero Dede Carranza did a little of everything from the back row with 17 digs, six assists, and even two back-row kills off broken plays (one of which came right after Bell kicked the ball to keep it alive).

CMS will close out the regular season tomorrow with a road match at Whittier, looking to become the first Athena team to finish a year undefeated in league play, before hosting a SCIAC Semifinal game on Thursday night at 7 p.m. If CMS should win the semifinal, it would also host the championship match for the fourth season in a row on Saturday.