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Brenna Bell (.400) and Audrey Sawyer (.357) had big days hitting (photo by Anibal Ortiz)
Brenna Bell (.400) and Audrey Sawyer (.357) had big days hitting (photo by Anibal Ortiz)

Top-ranked CMS Volleyball Holds Off La Verne to Remain Undefeated

LA VERNE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team faced a challenge from a stubborn La Verne squad looking to defend its home floor, but the Athenas were able to make the clutch plays down the stretch in three close sets to take a 3-0 win over the Leopards on Saturday at the Sports Pavilion.

Set scores were 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 as CMS moves to 13-0 overall and 3-0 in the SCIAC, as it wins its 30th league match in a row (34 including the SCIAC Tournament). La Verne slips to 7-5 overall and 1-2 in league play with the loss. 

Brenna Bell, who hit .857 in a win over Occidental yesterday (12-0-14), led the Athenas in kills again with 10, finishing with a .400 hitting percentage (10-2-20). Dani Beder had six kills in nine attempts in the middle for a .444 percentage, and Audrey Sawyer hit .353 from the middle as well (6-0-17). Dede Carranza led the defense with 17 digs, with Jenna Holmes adding 16, and Spencer Hagenbuch (21) and Georgia McGovern (19) divided the assists almost evenly. 

CMS led 24-20 in the first set, before La Verne fought off three straight set points to get within 24-23. Bell, though, came through with the clutch kill off an assist from McGovern to get CMS the first set and the momentum.

La Verne started the second set strong and turned an early 3-0 lead into a 13-8 advantage. CMS finally took the lead at 19-18 with a 3-0 run that was started by a Brooke McKee kill, and Holmes had two straight service aces to make it 22-19. After La Verne got one point back, CMS closed on a 3-0 run, with two McKee kills setting up match point and a La Verne error finishing the set. 

The Athenas appeared poised for an easier third set, leading 10-5 early, but La Verne battled back to make it 10-8 and then went ahead 16-15. With the score tied 18-18, McKee had two more clutch kills in a 3-0 run to make it 21-18, and after the Leopards earned the next point, CMS again closed with a flourish with four points in a row, with Izzy Sakoda and Bell picking up kills around two La Verne errors. 

CMS will be back in action on Tuesday night, when it hosts Redlands for a 7 p.m. contest.