CMS volleyball advances to first NCAA Quarterfinals

Recap courtesy of Cal Lutheran Athletics, host of the Regional, with contributions from CMS Athletics

(Watch Postmatch Interview) (Watch Match Point) (Photos)

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the first time in team history, the No. 17 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps volleyball team is heading to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championships. CMS advanced to the Round of 8 with a four-set win over Trinity (Texas) on Nov. 16, winning 25-19, 22-25, 25-21, 25-20, at the 2014 NCAA Division III Volleyball Thousand Oaks Regional final hosted at the Gilbert Arena on the campus of Cal Lutheran.

With the win, CMS added to its school record win total and is now 27-6 on the year. In 2013, CMS set the previous school record for wins at 25.

CMS is the No. 4 seed and now faces No. 5 seed Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the quarterfinals which will be hosted by Christopher Newport at the Freeman Center in Newport News, Va. on Friday, Nov. 21. Match time is set for 12:30 p.m. EST. The final rounds of the Championships run from Nov. 21-23 in Virginia. Should CMS advance to the semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 22, match time would be at 5 p.m. EST against the winner of Emory and Williams. For updated information on the 2014 NCAA Championships including match times, travel information, live stats and video links, please visit the CMS Athletics website ( and the NCAA Championships home page.

As for Sunday’s match against Trinity, Megan Coleman (CMC) was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Joining the senior libero on the All-Tournament Team were teammates Audrey Breitwieser (CMC) and Regina Mullen (CMC).

Sunday’s match was the second time that CMS and Trinity had played each other in 2014, with Trinity winning in three sets back in September at a tournament hosted by Trinity in San Antonio.

Competition began with two points from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, but the teams would play point-for-point, without a separation of any more than a pair throughout much of the set. The Athenas erased a 14-12 deficit by scoring four straight points to take a 16-14 lead on kills from Sarah Bruml (Scripps), Breitwieser and Mullen to earn her Athenas an 18-15 advantage. The kill forced Trinity to use a timeout. After exchanging points, Margaux Arntson (CMC) earned a 20-16 lead for CMS and Arianna Sifuentes (Scripps) found the hardwood for an ace on the next play. Following another Trinity timeout, Arntson and Bridget Bohman each notched a kill and after misfires on both sides of the net, Bruml came up huge for the designated home team with a kill followed by a block to put the set in the books at 25-19.

The Tigers team took the court in the second set and evened the team score with a 25-22 win. Each team had sequences of excellence. CMS broke a 7-7 tie with a kill from Arntson and consecutive service aces from Coleman. Just as the Athenas did in the first, Trinity chipped away and used a 6-0 run to turn the deficit into a 13-11 lead and the Tigers never looked back. Nicole Kerkhof (CMC) recorded a kill for CMS, knotting the teams at 19-19, but a quick service error from CMS gave the ball back to Trinity. Cusenbary and Emodi teamed up for a big block to sway the score back in favor of TU and Cusenbary went on to produce a no-doubt-about-it kill for the 22nd point. Shannon Courtney perfectly placed a ball for a service ace and CMS burned a timeout, though the intermission would not make a difference in the final result. The Tigers took advantage of a late Athenas’ hitting error that allowed Bohman to serve for the game point, which was recorded on a solo block from Emodi.

Again in the third game, CMS tallied the first point and opened an 11-5 lead en route to a 25-21 victory. Trinity would slowly close the gap and pulled within one at 16-15, but a Kerkhof kill swayed the momentum back in favor of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Courtney served for an ace to make it a one-point game for TU again at 20-19, however, the Athenas used kills from three different players to get the lead back to a comfortable margin at 23-19 and Breitwieser got her sixth kill of the set to give her team a 2-1 lead in the match. In addition to a half a dozen from the junior opposite, Kerkhof tallied seven kills on 10 swings in the set.

The energy generated on the floor from the Athenas in the third carried over to the fourth and final game as they started with a 5-1 lead. Following a Trinity timeout, the Tigers returned to the form they started the match with and a Cusenbary block coupled with a pair of CMS hitting errors made the score even at 8-8. Emodi broke up a 13-13 tie with a cross court kill and a dump from Erika Edrington gave Trinity a 15-13 advantage. A long rally at 16-15 went in favor of CMS on the first of back-to-back kills for Arntson. The 18th point also came from Arntson and Mariah Rigg (CMC) pushed CMS to a 19-17 lead as the Athenas continued to produce. Arntson, Bruml and Kerkhof joined forces for a block, increasing the lead to 21-18. Six plays later Kerkhof made history on an assist from Tanner Hoke, sending the CMS bench into a frenzy on the match-winner.

In the match, Kerkhof led all players with 19 kills as one of four CMS athletes in double figures. Both Arntson and Breitwieser notched 16 and Mullen added 12. Clara Madsen (CMC) handed out 32 assists and Hoke finished one back with 31. Coleman was the only player with multiple aces as she tallied three and also added a match-high 34 digs. Kerkhof and Sifuentes recorded 22 and 11 digs, respectively, and the Athenas teamed up for 13 block assists including four from Bruml.
Trinity (30-10) was paced by Emodi with 15 kills and Cusenbary with 14. Edrington handed out a match-high 37 assists and Courtney had two of the three aces of the day for the Tigers. Defensively, TU tallied 10.0 total blocks. The lone solo stop was from Emodi who also added five block assists to lead the way while both Bohman and Cusenbary finished with four. Trinity bids farewell to six seniors.

Box score

Tournament Bracket (PDF) NCAA D-III Volleyball Home Page

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