Regals, Athenas Set to Clash in SCIAC Postseason Tournament Final Rematch
CLU looking for 5th SCIAC PST Championship
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the seventh straight season, the Cal Lutheran women’s volleyball team will host the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament Final, and for the fourth straight year will take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the title match. The showdown between the nationally-ranked No. 2 Regals (24-4), and No. 1 seed in the tournament, and the nationally-ranked No. 4 Athenas (23-2), and No. 2 seed in the tournament, takes place this Saturday, Nov. 5 at 6:00 p.m. inside Gilbert Arena.
Last season, CLU fell 3-0 to CMS in the SCIAC PST Final before receiving an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament and winning six straight to claim the National Championship. In the previous two meetings in the SCIAC PST Finals in 2013 and 2014, the Regals swept past the Athenas.
The teams have split two meetings this season, with each winning on its home court. CMS earned a 3-1 (15-25, 25-22, 26-24, 25-19) victory inside Roberts Pavilion and the Regals came away with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-18) sweep inside Gilbert Arena two weeks ago.
First Team All-SCIAC selection, Hope Stewart, has paced the Regals offensively all season long and leads the team with 305 kills, including 178 in 16 conference matches. Joining Stewart with First Team All-SCIAC accolades is Michelle Lawrence and Sarah Pappas, and the duo is second and third for CLU with 224 and 213 kills, respectively. Monica Lundgren leads the team with 93 total blocks and Pappas is right behind her with 92, forming a dominant duo at the net. Nicki Tetherow reeled in Second Team All-SCIAC honors and is the backbone of the defense with a team-high 421 digs. Facilitating the offense has been junior setter Jamie Smith, who has dished out 885 assists for an average of 10.17 assists per set.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, meanwhile, has been led by senior outside hitter Nicole Kerkhof, who has 273 kills this season for an average of 3.46 kills per set. Kerkhof registered 15 kills against the Regals in the Athenas 3-1 victory but was limited to just two kills in a loss against CLU. Shelbi Stein and Crystal Anderson are also offensive threats for CMS and have 265 and 209 kills, respectively. Defensively, Mariah Rigg leads the team with 58 total blocks while Anderson has 43. Junior defensive specialist Mikena Werner has racked up 452 digs this season and Kerkhof has provided 289 digs of her own. Clara and Phoebe Madsen have split the setting duties, shelling out 563 and 420 assists each, respectively.
The winner of Saturday’s match will earn an automatic bid into the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball Tournament while the other will await an at-large berth. The NCAA Selection Show will air Monday, Nov. 7 at 9:30 a.m. pacific time.
Video and Live Stats will be available for the match and tickets will be sold at the entrance. Children under the age of 12 as well as students, faculty and staff with ID will receive free admittance. Tickets for seniors (55 and older) and veterans will be $5 while admission for all others is $10.
Tournament Central: 2016 SCIAC Postseason Volleyball Tournament
Live Stats: CMS at CLU
Video: CMS at CLU
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