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Jenna Holmes had 20 kills for the Athenas (photo by Julian Rivera-Williams)
Jenna Holmes had 20 kills for the Athenas (photo by Julian Rivera-Williams)

CMS Volleyball Finishes Undefeated in SCIAC for First Time in Program History

WHITTIER, Calif. - Jenna Holmes had 20 kills, including match point at 24-23 in the fourth set, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team closed out the regular season with a 3-1 win at Whittier to end up a perfect 16-0 in SCIAC play for the first time in program history.

Set scores were 19-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-23, as CMS heads into the SCIAC Tournament next week as the top seed with a 25-1 overall record and a 16-0 mark in SCIAC play. The last three CMS teams, including the national title team from 2017, finished 15-1 in SCIAC, which had been the best league record in program history prior to the perfect finish this fall. 

After dropping the first set 25-19, CMS controlled the second set with a 25-12 win. The Athenas led 11-7 before an 8-0 run enabled CMS to run away with it. Georgia McGovern had two aces during the run, while Kelsey Polhemus had three kills and Melanie Williams had two. Audrey Sawyer finished off the 25-12 win with a kill to level the match at a set apiece. 

CMS looked like it was going to run away with the third set as well, starting out with a 5-0 lead after two Williams kills and a block, but Whittier came back with the next five points to tie it. Whittier went ahead 14-12 before CMS used a 5-0 run to pull ahead 17-14, capped off by two straight kills from Jackie Jones. Holmes had two straight kills to make it 24-18, and after Whittier fought off four straight set points, Holmes finally ended it with a kill. 

Whittier battled back to tie the fourth set 21-21, and Jones had two straight kills to force the Poets to take a timeout. Whittier answered back to tie it again at 23-23, but Brenna Bell had a clutch kill to break the tie, and Holmes ended the match on her 20th kill of the night, just one behind her career high of 21, which she set in her debut against UC Santa Cruz. 

Williams finished with 13 kills and Jones added 12 for CMS, while Sawyer had eight in 15 tries for a .467 percentage. Dede Carranza tallied 33 digs for the Athenas, while Holmes had 15 and Georgia McGovern had 12 to go along with her 37 assists. 

CMS will be the top seed in the SCIAC Tournament and open up play against Cal Lutheran at home on Thursday night at Roberts Pavilion. If the Athenas win, they will host the SCIAC Championship on Saturday against the winner of the other semifinal between Pomona-Pitzer and Chapman.