CMS Undefeated in Pacific Coast Classic

The CMS Volleyball team finished day 2 of the Pacific Coast Classic with a perfect record, defeating Manchester College (North Manchester, MA) and Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH).

CMS squared off with the Manchester Spartans in match one. Early kills by right side attacker, Angela Estrella-Lemus (Sr., Gilroy, CA) and middle blocker, Leanne Ringquist (Sr., Ben Lomond, CA) helped the Athenas to a 12-5 lead in set one. Though Manchester called two time outs, and pieced together short strings of points, the Athenas offense proved too much to overcome and CMS closed out the set 25-13.

The tables turned in set two as the Spartans mounted an offensive attack of their own, pulling out to an early lead and sustaining the advantage. The Athenas trailed 7-18 before regaining composure and managed to pull within 4 points before losing the set 20-25.

With renewed energy, CMS controlled set three from the opening points. Sophomore defensive specialist, Shalynn Ho (Miliani, HI) rattled off two serving aces and a pair of excellent digs to guide the Athenas to a 7-1 lead, before senior middle blocker, Leanne Ringquist fell with a sprained ankle (7 kills, .600). Freshman, Bennett Jones (Monte Sereno, CA) picked up where Ringquist left off, ably stepping in as a middle blocker and notched two quick kills to continue to CMS offensive. Jones also added two service aces and a pair of blocks to round out her contribution. The Athenas won 25-15.

In the fourth set, CMS dominated the opening points, moving ahead 7-0 before the Spartans' play improved. A series of serve receive errors and two misplaced attacks nearly cost the Athenas the game, but a smart tip followed by a hard shot down the line by outside hitter, Emily Hudson (Jr., South Pasadena, CA) was enough to close out the set, 25-22.

Hudson finished the match with 13 kills and hit .286 in the effort to lead CMS. Kendra Huff (Sr., OH, Downey, CA) chipped in 8 kills and 15 digs while Estrella-Lemus added 6 kills and another 10 digs. Sophomore setter, Taylor Jones (Scottsdale, AZ) was excellent, notching 36 assists and 9 digs.

In match two, the Athenas took on another team of Spartans, that of Case Western Reserve University. With just a 30 minute break between matches, the Athenas started off a bit slow in set one and fell behind 1-6 before settling in and rebounding to balance the score 11-11. The teams traded points, for the rest of the game, and found themselves tied at 23-23. A miss-hit by the Spartans gave the advantage to CMS and sophomore middle blocker, Megan Levonian (Santa Cruz, CA) captured the final point with a big hit off the set of fellow sophomore, Taylor Jones (Tucson, AZ ).

Set two continued much the same way. Freshman middle blocker, Bennett Jones helped establish the quick attack for CMS with 3 of her eventual 10 kills, while outside hitter, Kendra Huff contributed several kills and near perfect serve receive. Emily Hudson also continued her consistent play and a huge solo block at game point by Megan Levonian gave the set to CMS, 25-21.

Case Western Reserve fought back to win set three, but senior outside hitter, Jenna Suttmeier (Issaquah, WA) tallied 3 important kills and no errors to help CMS maintain its early lead. Shalynn Ho was outstanding in set 4, notching 3 critical digs for the squad. CMS won 25-21.

Hudson finished the match with 19 kills and 18 digs to lead both teams. Shalynn Ho had a career high 16 digs and was second only to Hudson in serve receive performance. Setter, Taylor Jones had 47 assists and an impressive 11 digs.

The Athenas finished the tournament 4-0 and tied as tournament champions with defending SCIAC champions, University of Redlands who also finished the weekend 4-0. Kendra Huff and Taylor Jones were selected for the All-Tournament Team. Huff accumulated 37 kills (2.5/set) and a team high 59 digs (3.93/set) in the four matches. She also led the team in serve receive. Jones tallied 157 assists (9.8/set) during the tournament as well 39 digs (2.44/set). Her overall assist to set ratio was an impressive .437.

The Athenas will travel to Chapman University (Orange, CA) on Tuesday, September 7 to take on the Panthers in an important regional contest. Match time is 7:00.