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Jenna Holmes now has 1005 kills in a little less than three seasons (photo by Stella Cheng)
Jenna Holmes now has 1005 kills in a little less than three seasons (photo by Stella Cheng)

Holmes Reaches 1000 Kills, But La Verne Volleyball Snaps Athenas' SCIAC Win Streak at 59

LA VERNE, Calif. – Senior Jenna Holmes had 23 kills to reach the 1000-kill plateau for her career, but No. 21 La Verne was able to spoil the milestone day by snapping a 59-match win streak for the No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team against SCIAC opponents with a 3-1 win on Tuesday evening, taking it 27-25, 16-25, 25-19, 25-17.  

CMS slips to 16-4 overall and 10-1 in the SCIAC with the loss, suffering its first league defeat since falling in five sets at Chapman on October 1, 2019. In between, the Athenas won 53 straight league matches and six straight SCIAC Tournament matches. The Athenas had also not lost a set all season in SCIAC play, and had only dropped one set in the last two seasons combined to a league opponent (the first set in a 3-1 win at Pomona-Pitzer last year). The last time CMS lost to a SCIAC team in less than five sets was all the way back in the 2016 SCIAC Tournament finals to Cal Lutheran (3-0). 

La Verne improves to 19-2 overall and 10-2 in the SCIAC with the win, and earns a split in the season series with the Athenas, who won the first meeting in a tight battle (27-25, 25-16, 26-24) on Oct. 3. Myra Ray had 18 kills and Lauren Gott added 15 for the Leopards.

Holmes came into the match needing 18 kills for 1000, despite missing her first season due to the pandemic, and reached the milestone with the score tied 1-1 early in the fourth set with the Athenas trailing two sets to one. She added five more kills in the fourth to finish with 23, but La Verne was able to use a pair of 4-0 runs to seize control, turning a 9-9 tie into a 13-9 lead and then pushing a 14-12 lead up to 18-12.   A Holmes kill got it to 19-15, but Gott had two straight kills in a 3-0 run and the Leopards were able to pull away, ending it on a Ray kill.

La Verne came out strong from the opening serve with the first three points, and had a seven-point lead (14-7) early in the first set, but CMS responded to take a late lead at 23-22 on a Holmes kill. Ray answered with kills for the next two points for the Leopards, but Holmes was able to fight off the set point with a kill. Kelsey Polhemus and Brenna Bell combined on a block to wipe out another set point and tie it 25-25, but Ray and Lauren Gott finished off the set with two straight kills to give the Leopards a 1-0 lead.

The Athenas bounced back to control the second set for a 25-16 win, as Audrey Sawyer had a dominant stretch with four blocks and a kill in a 5-0 run that opened up a 12-4 lead. The Leopards earned the next four points, but Sawyer had a kill and Isabel Yau-Weeks followed with an ace, and the Athenas were able to maintain control of the set.

The third set saw CMS take a 13-11 lead on a Holmes kill, before La Verne went on a 9-1 run to go ahead 20-14. Sawyer had two kills in a 3-0 run, sandwiched around a Holmes kill, to cut it back down to 20-17, but the Leopards responded with the next four points and took the set 25-19.

Georgia McGovern had 44 assists for CMS, while Dede Carranza had a team-high 21 digs.

CMS will be back in action on Friday night when it hosts Cal Lutheran for a 7 p.m. contest at Roberts Pavilion.