THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In front of a loud and tenacious crowd, Cal Lutheran women's volleyball put on a show and pushed No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to its limit as each set saw the Regals score 20-plus points. However, it was the Athenas that came out on top as they escaped Gilbert Arena with a 3-1 win on Friday night with the scores of the match being 20-25, 21-25, 25-18, 25-27,
Last year, the Regals hosted CMS when the Athenas were the No. 3 team in the nation, and defeated them in five sets. CLU put up the same fight, just barely missing another upset. It is the first loss of SCIAC play for the Regals, who are now 3-1 and 9-6 overall.
The matched showed the Regals could contend with the top teams in the nation as the score went back-and-forth early and often. CLU made it hard on CMS as the first set included nine ties and four lead changes. In the second set, CMS made a run midway through the set and took a 19-12 lead. The Regals fought back, using an 8-3 run and cut the lead to two at 22-20, gaining traction in the match. The fight came up just short as CMS took a 25-21 set win and a 2-0 match lead
CLU kept pushing and battling hard, breaking through in the third set, and had a 16-10 lead. Maci Haddad combined with Sarah Hein and then Samantha Landrum for blocks, while Haddad and Hein both swatted down a kill. The Regals tallied five blocks in the set, controlling the net, and forcing their will on the Athenas' attackers. A few plays later, Christina Williams combined with Hein and then Landrum for back-to-back blocks, putting Cal Lutheran up 23-16. The Violet and Gold won the third set, 25-18, pushing the match to four.
The Regals picked up right where they left off in the third set, jumping out to a 7-2 lead after six straight points. Lauren Heller served an ace, and Hein and Williams recorded back-to-back kills, forcing CMS to call a timeout. The Athenas fought back, cutting the lead to 11-9, but the Regals fired back with a 5-1 run, capped off by a kill from Heller. With how close each set was, you knew CMS would make its move, and the Athenas did just that, eventually tying the set at 18.
A few plays later, a big kill from Morgan Given put CLU up 22-21 as the Regals looked to close out set four. With the crowd screaming and cheering with every single Regals' point, the score was tied from 22 all the way to 25. In the end, CMS scored the final two points and outlasted the Regals 27-25 and won the match.
Cal Lutheran's offense came from everywhere on the court as eight different Regals recorded three or more kills. Haddad led the charge with nine, Given was next with eight, Landrum and Hein both tallied six, Mackenzie Martinez and Madison Karcich both chipped in with five and Lauren Heller and Williams both had three.
At the net, the play was very competitive, with Williams having a team-high five blocks. Haddad and Landrum were both next with three and Given and Hein both added two.
The Regals are right back at it on Saturday and look to get back to their winning ways at La Verne. The first serve with the Leopards starts at 4 p.m.
Box Score: No. 4 CMS 3, CLU 1
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director