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CMS celebrates its SCIAC title on Saturday (photo by Kayla Ishibashi)
CMS celebrates its SCIAC title on Saturday (photo by Kayla Ishibashi)

CMS Volleyball Heads to MIT for NCAA Division III Regionals

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The eighth-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team will head to MIT for the NCAA Division III regionals this week, the NCAA announced today on its selection show.

CMS will open play on Thursday against UMass-Dartmouth (20-6) with the winner advancing to Friday's regional semifinals against the winner between Williams (16-9) and Salisbury (23-5). The other half of the bracket features MIT (29-4), Alfred (14-13), Cortland (23-5) and Gettysburg (23-5). 

The two Friday winners will advance through to Saturday's regional championship for the right to compete at nationals, which CMS will host at Roberts Pavilion from Nov. 29-Dec. 2. The Athenas stand three wins away from playing on their home floor at nationals, where they would be trying to win their second national title in program history. 

CMS earned the SCIAC's automatic bid with a championship match win over La Verne on Saturday. The Leopards (23-4) also got an at-large bid and will head to a regional at Wisconsin-Oshkosh. 

Georgia McGovern earned the SCIAC Tournament Most Outstanding Player honor after tallying 38 assists and seven kills in the championship match, going over 1000 assists for the season. She is only the second setter in CMS history to reach that milestone, after Natalya Preiser did it three years in a row from 1992-94. 

The Athenas have been led in kills this season by defending Division III National Player of the Year Jenna Holmes, who has 353 heading into the NCAA Tournament (and 1072 in her career). Audrey Sawyer leads the team in hitting percentage at .382, continuing on her pace to shatter the CMS record for career hitting percentage (.323 by Melanie Moore), with a percentage of .385 through her first three seasons. Dede Carranza, the two-time defending SCIAC Defensive Player of the Year, has 456 digs (1464 in her career). 

CMS has not played any of the seven teams in the regionals, and has no common opponents with UMass-Dartmouth or Williams, while the Athenas and Salisbury have both lost to Johns Hopkins 3-1. Should CMS meet MIT in the regional finals, the Engineers have 3-0 wins over SCIAC teams Pomona-Pitzer and Whittier and lost 3-1 to Trinity (Texas). 

Start times for the regional matches will be announced.