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CMS advances to meet Salisbury in Friday's second round (photo by Michael Last)
CMS advances to meet Salisbury in Friday's second round (photo by Michael Last)

CMS Volleyball Sweeps UMass-Dartmouth to Advance to NCAA Second Round

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Jenna Holmes had 13 kills in 20 attempts, hitting .550, as the eighth-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team moved one step closer to playing on its home court at nationals, taking down UMass-Dartmouth in straight sets in the opening round of the NCAA Regionals hosted by MIT on Thursday afternoon.

Set scores were 25-11, 25-13, 25-20 as CMS improves to 23-5 on the season, while UMass-Dartmouth ends its season at 20-7 after qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. CMS will move on to Friday's regional semifinals at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific time) against Salisbury, which overcame a match point in the third set to win in five over Williams in its semifinal (18-25, 20-25, 26-24, 25-21, 15-10).

CMS fell behind 3-1 early in the first set, but quickly asserted itself and went ahead 8-4 on an Izzy Sakoda kill. The Corsairs stayed within 11-8, but CMS scored the next five points, ending with two straight kills from Holmes, and then went on a 6-0 run to go ahead 24-10 on a block from Brenna Bell and Audrey Sawyer. After a UMass-Dartmouth point, Bell finished off the set with a kill for a 25-11 win and a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Athenas led throughout and used a 5-0 run with three straight aces from Dede Carranza to surge ahead 20-9. CMS closed out on a 4-0 run, with Sawyer recording two kills in a row to end it.

CMS went ahead 9-4 in the third set with a 5-0 run, but the Corsairs hung tough and didn't let the Athenas get separation, pulling as close as two points (21-19). Holmes answered with a kill, Bell had a kill, and Holmes finished it off with an ace for a 25-20 win.

Sakoda and Bell each finished with eight kills for CMS, while Sawyer and Dani Beder each had five. Carranza led the Athenas defensively with 12 digs, while McGovern had 10 to go along with her 33 assists, moving into third place in CMS history on the single-season list with 1041 this season.  

CMS and Salisbury (21-7) have not met this season and have one opponent in common, with both teams falling 3-1 to Johns Hopkins. The winner of the CMS-Salisbury match will advance through to Saturday's regional finals for the right to move on to the NCAA Division III Championships, which will be held at Roberts Pavilion Nov. 29-Dec. 2.