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Dede Carranza had 27 digs in three sets (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Dede Carranza had 27 digs in three sets (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Volleyball Falls to Top-Ranked Juniata to Close Out Cal Lu Fornia Invitational

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The fourth-ranked CMS women's volleyball team put up a spirited fight in the second set after digging into a deep hole, but top-ranked Juniata was able to fight off the challenge and earn a 3-0 win over the Athenas on the second day of the Cal Lu Fornia Invitational on Saturday afternoon. 

Set scores were 25-12, 31-29, 25-20, as defending national champion Juniata remains undefeated with the win at 9-0, while CMS slips to 6-3 with the loss. It was the first straight-set loss for CMS since it fell 3-0 to Lee in 2017, before going on to win the national title.

After struggling through the first set, CMS had a furious rally to come back in the second set, earning four set points after falling behind 18-11. Brooke McKee, Georgia McGovern and Jenna Holmes had three straight kills to close the Juniata lead to 18-14, and a 4-0 run which included a Dani Beder block and an Ashley Murashige ace, tied it at 19-19.  

Juniata was ahead 22-20, but Beder and Brenna Bell combined on two straight blocks to tie it up again 22-22. A McKee kill gave CMS a 24-23 lead and the first set point, but Juniata answered with a kill to send it to extra points. Audrey Sawyer wiped out a set point for Juniata with a kill to tie it 26-26, and a Holmes kill tied it 27-27. Sawyer had an ace and Holmes had a kill to give CMS two one-point leads, but the Eagles earned three straight points to take the set 31-29. 

CMS played from in front in the third set for a little while, taking a 12-9 lead on a block from McGovern and Beder. However, Juniata went on a 4-0 run to pull ahead 20-17. 

Dede Carranza finished with 27 digs in a three-set match, while Holmes led CMS in kills with 13 and McGovern added 31 assists. 

CMS will be back in action on Friday when it hosts Chapman for a 7 p.m. contest in its SCIAC opener.