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CMS rushes the court after a 3-0 win over UW-Oshkosh
CMS rushes the court after a 3-0 win over UW-Oshkosh

CMS Women's Volleyball Cruises Into Semifinals with Dominant Win over Top-Seed UW-Oshkosh

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CLAREMONT, Calif. - On a day when the other NCAA Division III Volleyball quarterfinals had lots of drama, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team made quick work of top-seeded UW-Oshkosh, winning 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 on Wednesday evening at Roberts Pavilion.

With the win, CMS improves to 26-5 and moves on to face Hope in the semifinals tomorrow evening at 7:30 p.m. Juniata and NYU will meet in the first semifinal at 5 p.m.

Audrey Sawyer led CMS with eight kills in 12 attempts with no errors, including a kill on match point to finish off the win. Brenna Bell had seven kills, Izzy Sakoda had six, Dani Beder had six, Jenna Holmes had five and Georgia McGovern had five in a balanced CMS attack. McGovern added 29 assists and six service aces, and Dede Carranza led the defense with 13 digs. 

The CMS match was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, but did not get started until 9:30 p.m., sine NYU needed five sets to beat Northwestern, and Hope needed five to beat Johns Hopkins. 

The Athenas looked ready to go despite the long wait, roaring out to a 7-0 lead and forcing the Titans to call a timeout even before they had won a point. UW-Oshkosh was able to get a 16-6 CMS lead down to just four points at 19-15, but Beder had a kill and Carranza had an ace to swing momentum back, and Sawyer and McGovern finished out the set with kills. 

CMS started a little more slowly in the second and third sets, but were able to kick it into high gear both times. The Titans led 7-2 in the second set, but CMS used a 5-0 run to tie it 10-10 on a block from Holmes and Beder. McGovern had two straight service aces to build the lead to 14-11, and the Athenas closed out the second with three straight points, ending on another McGovern ace. 

The third set saw CMS fall behind 4-0, but then come right back with the next five points, three of which were Beder kills. After the Titans kept to an 11-8 score, CMS had another 5-0 run, with McGovern recording two kills and Sakoda an ace. Sawyer then finished off the match with her team-high eighth kill. 

With the win, CMS advances to the national semifinals for the third time in program history. The Athenas won the 2017 national title, and then reached the 2021 semifinals before falling to Calvin. This time, CMS will face Calvin's in-state rival, Hope College, for the right to move on to Saturday's national championship match.