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Brooke McKee had 7 of her 14 kills in pressure situations (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Brooke McKee had 7 of her 14 kills in pressure situations (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Volleyball Pushed By La Verne, But Prevails in Straight Sets

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Brooke McKee had kills for the final four CMS points in the third set, as the sixth-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team was tested by undefeated and 19th-ranked La Verne on Tuesday night, but came away with a hard-fought 27-25, 25-16, 26-24 win to remain perfect in SCIAC on Tuesday night at Roberts Pavilion.

With the win, CMS moves to 11-3 overall and 5-0 in conference play, while extending its winning streak in SCIAC matches to 54 (48 regular season, six postseason). La Verne suffers its first defeat as it falls to 14-1 overall and 5-0 in SCIAC. 

Jenna Holmes had 16 kills and McKee had 14, including back-to-back kills with CMS down 24-21 in the first set, as well as the final four to decide it. Dede Carranza had 18 digs and Georgia McGovern had 35 assists, while quarterback an offense that had an impressive .336 hitting percentage, recording 51 kills and only nine errors (four of which came on La Verne blocks). 

La Verne looked poised to take the first set when it went ahead 24-21, but CMS responded with four points in a row. McKee had back-to-back kills to fight off two set points, and Audrey Sawyer knotted it up with a kill. Myra Ray (18 kills) evened the score at 25-25 with a kill to fight off a set point from the Athenas, but Sawyer and McKee had kills for the final two points. 

CMS held a steady lead throughout the second set, and closed on a 4-0 run to take it 25-16, but the third set was once again tight throughout. La Verne led 18-16 before McKee and McGovern had two straight kills to tie it. After La Verne went ahead 22-21, the same duo had consecutive kills again, with McKee putting the Athenas ahead 23-22. 

Ray answered for La Verne, but McKee struck back to give CMS its first match point. Once again, Ray answered to tie it 24-24, but it was McKee's night, as she finished off the match with two more kills, placing one on match point right in the corner to end it. 

Although the Athenas were tested, they still ended up with their fifth straight SCIAC sweep to start the conference season. Dating back to last season, CMS has lost only set in its last 21 conference matches (the first set at Pomona-Pitzer last year, before coming back to win 3-1). 

CMS will be back in action on Friday when it heads to Cal Lutheran before returning home to face Whittier on Saturday at 4 p.m.