ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Senior All-American Amanda Walker had 15 kills in only 22 attempts, hitting .591, as the No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team took down No. 1 Emory in straight sets (25-18, 26-24, 25-18) in its first match of the annual East to West Battle, hosted by Washington University.
With the win, CMS improves to 8-1 on the year, while handing defending national champion Emory (6-1) its first defeat.
CMS hit an impressive .379 on the day, totaling 46 kills on 87 swings (with only 13 errors). Junior Lucila Grinspan had 10 kills in 22 attempts, while senior setter/right side Phoebe Madsen had eight kills in 15 attempts, to go along with 19 assists and seven digs.
The match swung in the second set, when Emory was poised to level the match at 1-1 by taking two straight points for a 24-22 lead. After a timeout, Madsen got a kill to pull CMS within one, and then senior libero Sarah Tritshcler had a spectacular reflex dig to deny Leah Saunders an apparent set-winning kill, before juniors Melanie Moore and Grinspan combined on a block to tie it. Emory called timeout, but a ball-handling error and an attack error gave the CMS the final two points for a 26-24 win in the second set and a 2-0 lead in the match.
With the momentum on its side, CMS jumped out to quick leads in the third set, forcing Emory to burn its two timeouts quickly with the scores at 5-1 and 11-5. The Athenas then used a 5-1 run to go ahead 21-12, with Walker picking up two kills in the run and Madsen adding one. The Eagles clawed back within 23-18, but Grinspan had a kill down the line to set up match point, and Walker finished it off for the 3-0 win.
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There was little drama in the first set, as CMS led wire-to-wire to take a 25-18 win. Madsen started off the set with an ace as part of a 3-0 run, and then capped it off with a kill on the third set point for the Athenas after they took a 24-16 lead. Grinspan had a big first set with four kills on six attempts, including two in a row to put CMS up 23-16, while Moore had three kills on four attempts as the Athenas hit .367 in the first set as a team.
CMS will be back in action this evening to take on host WashU for a match scheduled to start at 7 p.m. local time (5 p.m. PDT). The Athenas will then finish out the tournament tomorrow with a match against No. 6 Juniata at 12:30 p.m. (PDT) before beginning SCIAC play on Friday at Redlands.