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CMS celebrates match point in the quarterfinals (photo by Ricky Bassman)
CMS celebrates match point in the quarterfinals (photo by Ricky Bassman)

CMS Volleyball Faces Rematch With Calvin Tonight in NCAA Semifinals

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team stands 31-1 on the year heading into its NCAA Semifinal match this evening, and will face the opponent responsible for the only loss when it plays a rematch with Calvin, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time (7:30 p.m. local time) at Washington University in Saint Louis.

CMS and Calvin met in the Midwest Invitational hosted by Calvin on Oct. 22. The Athenas came into that match at 21-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country, while Calvin was ranked No. 6. Both teams had played earlier in the day, with CMS taking a 3-1 win over No. 4 Hope and the Knights outlasting Ohio Northern in five sets, but the hosts were able to come away with a 3-1 win to knock the Athenas from the ranks of the unbeaten. 

CMS bounced back the following day with a dominant 3-0 win over Ohio Northern and haven't lost since, gutting out three five-setters in its current 10-match win streak after not going five in any of its first 22 matches. The experience of playing in front of a hostile road crowd paid dividends when the Athenas were sent to undefeated Wartburg for the NCAA Regionals and came back from 2-0 down to defeat the hosts in five sets on Sunday, taking the fifth set 18-16 after a raucous home crowd cheered the hosts back from 13-9 down into extra points. 

Calvin had a five-setter of its own yesterday in the NCAA quarterfinals, prevailing 15-10 in the fifth after coming back from 2-1 down to defeat Trinity. CMS needed four sets to defeat Berry in its quarterfinal, bouncing back from a third-set defeat for a dominant 25-12 win in the fourth to punch its ticket into the semifinals. 

The winner of the Calvin-CMS match will advance through to the NCAA Championship tomorrow, against the winner of the first semifinal between Juniata and Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The Athenas have been this far only once before in their history, when they won a 2017 semifinal against Ithaca 3-1 and then went on to defeat Wittenberg 3-0 in the national finals. The only other appearance at nationals for CMS came in 2014, when it fell in five sets in the quarterfinals to Wisconsin Stevens Point. 

The NCAA video stream and live stats can be followed at beginning at 5:30 p.m. Pacific time. The start time is subject to be delayed if the first semifinal runs long.