Volleyball takes down No. 4 CMS for 10th straight win

The team dogpiles after an upset victory.
Photo by Larry Newman

ORANGE, Calif. – Down two sets to none, the Chapman University women's volleyball team came roaring back to take down the No. 4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas 14-25, 25-27, 25-14, 25-17, 15-10 on Tuesday in the Hutton Center. With the win, the Panthers seized the top spot in the SCIAC standings and won their 10th match in a row.

Sophomore Sophie Srivastava put up her Division III leading fifth triple-double of the season. She had 12 kills, 24 assists and 23 digs to go along with six blocks to lead the Panthers. Sophomore Jessi Lumsden had a match-high 18 kills and hit .260 while coming up with 20 digs in the match.

The Athenas (14-3, 4-1 SCIAC) cruised to a first set victory but Chapman gained some momentum in the second set. Down 23-18, Srivastava and senior Nayelli Munoz slammed down back-to-back kills before teaming up for a block to make it 23-21 and force a CMS timeout. Munoz kept it rolling out of the timeout when she took full advantage of an over pass off the serve for another kill. Munoz contributed five kills and six blocks.

After a CMS sideout, the Panthers took a 25-24 lead on a block and kill from sophomore Jessi Lumsden. Raegan Dinovitz put down back-to-back kills and Amanda Walker finished off the set to give CMS a 2-0 lead.

The Athenas had accumulated 9.5 blocks through the second set with Dinovitz getting in on six of them. The put up 4.5 more blocks in the third with their second triple block of the match but couldn't overcome a -.118 hitting percentage. Chapman rode the momentum of the near comeback in the second set to build an early 10-4 lead and cruise to a 25-14 win to extend the match.

The Panthers put up five blocks in the third after totaling just four in the first two sets combined. Lumsden and Srivastava took over in the fourth set to even the match at two sets apiece. Lumsden out down six of her 18 kills and Srivastava added in four of her 12. Chapman hit .283 in the set.

After putting up 14 blocks in the first three sets, the Athenas did not get one block in the fourth or fifth as Chapman completed its comeback. A six-point run early in the fourth turned a 6-4 deficit into a 10-6 lead. Chapman was comfortably out front the rest of the way and pulled away late. After CMS cut it to 19-16, the Panthers scored six of the final seven points in the set to even the match. Lumsden put down three of her kills in the run, including the final point.

The fifth set went back-and-forth early with the Panthersgoing up 6-3 on a block from Srivastava and freshman Natalie Wittkow only to see the lead disappear on McKenna Fall's ace to put CMS up 8-7. The teams switched sides and the Panthers captured all the momentum. A couple of hits went wide for CMS and Lumsden sent a screaming line drive over the net for a service ace to make it 10-8.

Her next serve sailed long but sophomore Erika Wiles sandwiched a pair of kills around another CMS hit that just missed the back line. Freshman Cat Helgeson promptly served up another ace out of a CMS timeout to bring up match pojnt.

A kill from Dinovitch momentarily held off the celebration as Munoz and junior Mavis Lui teamed up for an upset-clinching block. The Panthers streamed on to the court in celebration after hitting .233 in the final set and holding CMS to .033.

The Panthers served up nine aces in the match while CMS had seven. Chapman hit .172 after the slow start but held CMS to just .118 hitting. Helgeson had 17 digs as did Wiles. The Athenas were led by 14 kills from Lucila Grinspan and 11 from Walker.

Chapman takes it winning streak on the road to face La Verne on Friday at 7 p.m. but returns home on Saturday to take on Cal Lutheran at 4 p.m.

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By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director

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