Regals Fall to Athenas in SCIAC Championship; Await Possible NCAA At-Large Berth

Taylor Johnson records 11 kills against CMS.
Taylor Johnson records 11 kills against CMS.

CLAREMONT, Calif.— The Cal Lutheran women's volleyball team came up short in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Tournament Championship match as the Regals were defeated by the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas, 3-0, Saturday night in Roberts Pavilion. The sets of the match were 22-25, 23-25, 14-25.

The Regals will now wait for a NCAA committee's decision to see if they get at-large berth to the 2018 Division III Tournament. The 64-team field will be announced on Monday at 9:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. 

Cal Lutheran was the No. 2 seed in the tournament. With the loss, the Regals are now 18-11 on the year. CMS was the No. 1 seed and is now 26-3. The Athenas also claimed the SCIAC's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. 

Taylor Johnson led the offense with 11 kills and recorded an impressive .417 hitting percentage. She added three block assists.

Amanda Roberts was next with nine kills, Jordan MacArthur had five and Maci Haddad had four. Roberts tallied eight digs and two service aces, MacArthur had 12 digs and Haddad recorded four blocks.

Jennifer Kent recorded a double-double with 26 assists and 17 digs. Carly Rose Howard tallied 16 digs and Mackenzie Martinez added 10 more.

The match was very even and the first two sets could've went either way. The teams exchanged the lead multiple times and there were many ties. For the match, CMS had a hitting percentage of .142 and the Regals had .133. 

With CMS up 12-8 in the first set, Cal Lutheran was ready for the call. The Regals scored five straight points and took the lead. Roberts served two aces, Johnson recorded a kill and she combined with Martinez for a block. The Regals and Athenas would be tied seven times from 13 all the way to 21. CMS then scored four of the next five points and won the first set 25-22. 

The Regals came out on fire in the second set. With Cal Lutheran down 3-1, the Regals scored eight of the next nine points and had a 9-4 lead. MacArthur got things started with a kill and Howard added an ace.  The next three points were kills, two from Martinez and one from Haddad. The final two points were blocks, a solo block from Haddad and then she combined with Kent for another. 

A little bit later, CLU scored three straight and had a 21-15 lead. However, the Regals weren't able to hang on as CMS fought all the way back. The Athenas eventually tied the set at 23 and then scored the final two points for a 25-23 win. CMS went on to win the third set 25-14 and the match 3-0. 

The Regals 2018 season is now in the hands of a NCAA committee. The decision comes Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. PST. 

Box Score: No. 1 CMS 3, No. 2 CLU 0
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director


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