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Jenna Holmes had 28 kills in two matches (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Jenna Holmes had 28 kills in two matches (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Volleyball Splits Pair of Top-Ten Battles at East-West Classic

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The second-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team took a 3-1 win over No. 6 Trinity in its first match of the day, but then fell 3-1 to No. 7 Johns Hopkins in the nightcap on the second day of the East-West Classic at Roberts Pavilion.

With the split, CMS moves to 4-2 on the young season, after dropping a five-setter to No. 14 WashU on the first day of the East-West Classic on Friday. Set scores against Trinity were 26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 25-17, while Johns Hopkins earned a 25-20, 25-23, 19-25, 25-15 win in the second match. 

Jenna Holmes led the Athenas with 28 kills in two matches (15 vs. Trinity, 13 vs. Johns Hopkins), while Brenna Bell had a big day in the Trinity win with 17 kills in 32 attempts, hitting .438, and Audrey Sawyer added 12 kills in 22 attempts, hitting .500. 

The pivotal moment of the Trinity win came in the first set, as the Tigers took a 24-20 lead and seemed poised for a 1-0 lead, before the Athenas rattled off six points in a row for a 26-24 win. Bell started the run with a kill, and after an attack error made it 24-22, Holmes put the ball down to get the Athenas within one. A bad set tied the score 24-24, and then Izzy Sakoda and Audrey Sawyer had two straight kills to give CMS the dramatic comeback for a 1-0 lead. 

The momentum carred into the second set as CMS scored the first six points, making it 12 in a row overlapping the two sets. Georgia McGovern had two aces during the run, while Bell contributed a kill and a block (with Kelsey Polhemus). Trinity battled back as was within 17-14 before the Athenas had four points in a row, with kills from Polhemus, Sawyer, Sakoda and Bell, and CMS went on to a 25-16 win and a 2-0 lead. 

Trinity salvaged the third set 25-23 to get back within 2-1, but CMS controlled the final set 25-17, winning it on a Bell kill. McGovern finished with 52 assists, her third match over 50 already this season. Dede Carranza had 21 digs, and Holmes had 18 to go with her 15 kills. 

In the nightcap, CMS fell behind 2-0 and tried to mount a comeback, but Johns Hopkins was able to pull away in the fourth set for a 25-15 win. CMS dropped the first set 25-20 and was down 21-14 in the second, but pulled all the way back to within 24-23, hoping for a big momentum swing as McGovern had a kill following a big dig from Sakoda. But Pamela Chiakpo was able to get a clutch kill for the Blue Jays for a 2-0 lead.  

CMS used a 7-0 run in the third set to turn a 14-12 deficit into a 19-14 lead, with Holmes recording three aces and a kill during the run, to go along with two kills from Bell and one from Brooke McKee. CMS went on to a 25-19 win to get back to within 2-1, but Johns Hopkins was able to close the match on a 9-1 run after CMS was within 16-14 to take the 3-1 win. 

Holmes was the only Athena in double figures in kills with 13, while Carranza had 18 digs, and McGovern finished with 36 assists and 10 digs. 

CMS will be back in action next weekend at the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational, where it will meet No. 1 Juniata, along with Chicago and Texas-Dallas.