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Volleyball opens SCIAC Tournament Thursday against Pomona-Pitzer in Thousand Oaks

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – On Thursday, Nov. 7, the No. 25-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team plays No. 2 seed Pomona-Pitzer in the first round of the SCIAC Postseason Volleyball Tournament which is hosted by Cal Lutheran. CMS earned the SCIAC's No. 3 seed after finishing the regular season at 23-5 overall and 11-5 in SCIAC play.

Release courtesy of Cal Lutheran Sports Information

On Saturday, Nov. 9, the two advancing teams will play for the SCIAC Post Season Tournament title at 6:00 p.m. at the site of the highest remaining seed. The tournament champion will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament. Regional play is set for Nov. 15-17 with the NCAA Division III National Championships scheduled at the DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, Mich. from Nov. 21-23. 

Tickets and t-shirts for Thursday's match will be sold in the lobby of the Gilbert Arena. Children under the age of 12, current students, faculty and staff with ID receive free admittance. Admission for all others is $5 per day. T-shirts are priced at $15 (short sleeves) and $20 (long sleeves). Doors will open at 4:00 p.m.

Semifinal One – 5:00 p.m. (No. 2 Pomona-Pitzer vs. No. 3 CMS)
With both teams traveling from the Claremont Colleges, cross-street rivals No. 2 Pomona-Pitzer (20-7) will face No. 3 and nationally ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (23-5) to start the tournament. PP has defeated CMS twice this season, first earning a 3-0 sweep and more recently earning a 3-1 victory over the Athenas on Oct. 26 at home. In league action, PP dropped four matches, falling twice to CLU and once apiece to Occidental and Chapman. CMS was defeated five times, twice by CLU and PP and once by Chapman.

The Sagehens have been paced by Yale transfer outside hitter and national leader Allie Frappier who has averaged 6.19 kills per set with 474 overall. Four other PP players have more than 100 kills apiece. Setting duties have been shared by freshman Elizabeth Sun (479 – 5.26 per set) and juniors Dani Kritter (388 – 4.36 per set) and Ellen Yamasaki (206 – 2.02 per set). Serving, Sun and Kirea Mazzolini each have 22 aces. Senior defensive specialist Beth Smilkstein has a team-leading 444 digs (4.48 per set) while sophomore Michelle Schultz (289 – 3.28 per set) and Frappier (263 – 3.42 per set) have played significant defensive roles as well. At the net Mazzolini and junior Samantha Cahill have 86 and 84 total blocks, respectively, for 1.00 and 1.05 per set, with Mazzolini having recorded 12 solo stops. Announced today Frappier was rewarded with SCIAC Player of the Year honors for her accolades on the court.

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has looked to outside hitter and SCIAC Freshman of the Year Nicole Kerkhof for a team-high 426 kills (4.30 per set) as one of four players over 150 kills apiece. Sophomore opposite Audrey Breitwieser is next in line with 363 (3.67 per set). Doing the majority of the setting for the Athenas is senior Hilary Bruegl with 705 (9.79 per set) while sophomore Tanner Hoke has accumulated 493 (7.58 per set). Hoke and Kerkhof each put down 29 service aces for CMS during the regular season. Junior libero Megan Coleman currently has 536 digs (5.76 per set) and Kerkhof is second with 308 (3.11 per set). In her first collegiate season freshman Quinn Morrison leads the team with 73 total blocks (.74 per set) and has 11 solo stops, two behind team-leader Monique Nguyen who has 13 as a junior middle blocker.

Semifinal Two – 7:30 p.m. (No. 1 Cal Lutheran vs. No. 4 Chapman)
Cal Lutheran is undefeated in Division III matches this year and will host Chapman (17-11) in the second match of the night. The Panthers were defeated six times this year in SCIAC, including twice by both CLU and Occidental and once by CMS and once by PP.

CLU enters the day with home court advantage. On a balanced team, five different Regals have notched more than 170 kills. Leading the way is senior outside hitter Kylie McLogan who became the Cal Lutheran school record holder in career kills earlier this season. She currently has 364 kills for an average of 3.74 per set with sophomore Allie Eason and Pua Mo'okini-Oliveira having recorded 272 (2.69 per set) and 201 (2.03 per set), respectively. Rejoining the Regals for her final season is graduate student Jackie Russell who was sidelined a year ago with an injury. She has returned to the court to hand out 881 assists, adding to her school record. Acing from the service line have been McLogan (38) and Russell (32) while Eason has 28 and Kennedy Peters is one back with 27. Defensively, Eason has a team-leading 303 digs (2.96 per set), while McLogan (287 – 2.96 per set) and Peters (279 – 2.94 per set) each have more than 200. Seniors Lauren Rohach and Hayley Tamagni are the main stoppers for CLU. Rohach leads the team with 76 (.80 per set) and Tamagni has 74 (.76 per set), but Eason, Mo'okini-Oliveira and McLogan are not far behind. Tamagni and McLogan each have eight solo stop this season.

The Panthers have been led by junior Val Geiger with 485 kills (4.58 per set) as one of four Chapman players in triple figures. Senior setter Corrine Ostrovsky has tallied 1246 assists in 2013 for 11.03 per set. Serving, junior Andi Frisina and senior Lena Buckendorf have put down 34 and 30 aces, respectively. The Panthers defensive unit has spread out the digging duties with five players over 260 apiece. Leading the way is senior Carleigh Mueller with 423 (4.45 per set) followed by Frisina (345 – 3.17 per set). Geiger is also a leader at the net with 55 total blocks (.52 per set) including 26 solo stops. Junior middle blocker Kat Marusich is second on the team with 51 (4.8 per set). 

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