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Brooke McKee had 12 kills to lead the way (photo by Anibal Ortiz)
Brooke McKee had 12 kills to lead the way (photo by Anibal Ortiz)

CMS Volleyball Makes Quick Work of Fontbonne, Moves on To NCAA Second Round

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CLAREMONT, Calif. - Brooke McKee had 12 kills in 22 attempts as the top-ranked CMS volleyball team hit an even .400 to capture a 25-13, 25-19, 25-9 win over Fontbonne in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament on Thursday night at Roberts Pavilion.

Brenna Bell had eight kills in 10 attempts for an .800 percentage, and Jenna Holmes had a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs for the Athenas, who improve to 29-0 on the year and move on to face UT Dallas in the regional semifinals tomorrow at 7 p.m. Fontbonne ends its season at 15-11 with the loss. 

CMS wasted no time in asserting itself by jumping out to a 6-0 lead and forcing Fontbonne to call a timeout before its first sideout. The Griffins battled back from that opening punch to get back to within 7-5, but CMS used a 5-0 run to push the lead to 15-6 on a Holmes kill. Bell had two straight kills in a 4-0 run that pushed it to 20-8, and Izzy Sakoda capped it off with a kill for a 25-13 win. 

Fontbonne showed some mettle in the second set, staying with the Athenas through the first half before a 7-0 run turned a 13-13 tie into a 20-13 lead. Bell and Audrey Sawyer combined for three blocks in the sequence and Sakoda capped off the run with an ace. 

The third set was 16-9 before the Athenas closed it out with nine points in a row, with Sakoda accounting for three of the first four with kills. Dede Carranza had a service ace, McKee had a kill and a ball handling error wrapped the match up. 

CMS will face UT Dallas for the right to move on to Saturday's regional finals at 5 p.m., where the winner will face either Trinity or Chicago, which took their first-round matches against Puget Sound and Texas Lutheran, respectively. 

As CMS tries to pursue a regional and national championship, here's an inside look at the start of the postseason run from SCIAC Championship week (video from j.d.c media)