ATLANTA, Ga. – The No. 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's volleyball team traveled to Atlanta, Ga. for the East-West Challenge against a pair of top-10 foes. In the afternoon match, the Athenas swept the No. 6 Juniata Eagles 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-20). In the evening session, CMS squared off with the No. 4 Emory Eagles, but dropped a hard-fought battle with Emory 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 27-25).
No. 8 CMS defeats No. 6 Juniata – 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-20)
The Athenas jumped right out of the gate with a 13-2 run to take control of the opening set. The run featured eight-straight points from the Athenas with Mikena Werner (SC) serving. While Juniata climbed back into the match with an 11-5 run, they could not pull closer than five points as the Athenas took the first set 25-15.
Throughout the early portion of the second set, the Athenas were battling from just a couple points behind. Juniata held a slim 8-6 lead before the Athenas won seven of the next nine points to take a 13-10 lead. That lead would be erased by a quick 5-2 run by the Eagles to tie the set at 15-15.
Margaux Arntson (CMC) broke the tie with a kill off an assist from Phoebe Madsen (CMC) to give the Athenas a 16-15 advantage. The kill from Arntson started a 10-3 run that the Athenas used to end the set (25-18) and take a 2-0 advantage into the third set.
In the third set, the Eagles and Athenas traded runs for the first portion of the set until the Athenas held a 17-13 lead. CMS built that lead thanks to runs of 7-1 and 5-1. Juniata pulled within two points at 21-19, but the Athenas won four of the final five points to close out the set (25-20) and complete the sweep 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-20). Lauren Widasky (CMC) collected kills on the final two points for CMS to close out the match.
Mariah Rigg (CMC), Amanda Walker (SC), and Lauren Widasky all tied for the match-high in kills with eight each. The sister combination of Clara Madsen (CMC) and Phoebe Madsen combined for 26 assists and Mikena Werner led all players with 26 digs.
The loss for Juniata was their first of the season, dropping the Eagles to 7-1 on the year.
No. 4 Emory defeats No. 8 CMS – 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 27-25)
The Athenas went toe-to-toe with the No. 4 Emory Eagles in their second match of the day against a top-10 team. Late in the fourth set the Athenas had a chance to force the match to a decisive fifth set with a set-point at 24-22, but Emory stormed back to win five of the final six points to take the set and the match.
Momentum swung back-and-forth between the two sides many times throughout the match. Early in the first set the Eagles were in firm control of the set. Emory held an 18-11 lead in the opening set but a kill from Margaux Arntson started a 7-0 run for the visitors that tied the game at 18-18. After a timeout, Emory regained their form and rattled off the next three points and seven of the next 10 points to take the set by a 25-21 mark.
Set two went right down to the wire. Just like the first set, it saw the Athenas have to battle back late. CMS trailed 17-15, but ended the set on a 10-2 run to claim the set by a score of 25-19. That set-ending run was fueled by two kills from Crystal Anderson (CMC) and one from Melanie Moore (CMC).
In the third set it was the Eagles turn to take control of the match late. With the Athenas holding a slim, 17-16 lead, the Eagles scored the next three points and seven of the next eight to flip the script and take a 23-18 lead. A service error for Emory closed the gap to four points, but back-to-back kills from the Eagles closed out the set and gave Emory the 2-1 lead heading to the fourth set.
Just as the match had been all night, the fourth set was a closely contested affair. Early on in the set it looked like the Athenas were in control. CMS took an 11-5 lead after a kill from Moore. A kill from Emory's Sydney Leimbach started a 12-1 streak for the Eagles. CMS called a timeout to regroup and following the breather the Athenas put together an 11-3 run that gave them a 23-20 lead.
It was Leimbach that stopped the run with a pair of kills for Emory, but Margaux Arntson countered with a kill that gave CMS a chance to serve for the set. The Eagles scored the next three and five of the final six to take the set 27-25 and the match 3-1.
In the match, four Athenas collected double-digit dig totals including a match-high 23 from Mikena Werner. Phoebe Madsen collected 16 digs and dished out 16 assists for the lone CMS double-double in the match. Offensively, Crystal Anderson led the charge with 15 kills. Shelbi Stein joined Anderson in double-figures with 10 kills of her own.
After splitting their two matches on Friday, the Athenas move to 7-3 overall and 2-2 against teams ranked in the top 10.
CMS will be back in action tomorrow with a pair of matches. The Athenas will split squads and play a 12:30 p.m. match against Lee in Atlanta while also taking on Caltech at 6:00 p.m. in Pasadena to open SCIAC play.