Bulldog Volleyball Falls to CMS in SCIAC Opener
The University of Redlands volleyball team returned home to the friendly confines of Currier Gym on Friday night, but the welcome feeling was short-lived as the Bulldogs suffered a three-set sweep to the Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges. During the opening Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) match for both squads, CMS closed out each set en route to a tight 25-22, 25-23, 25-16 decision.
Redlands jumped out to an early 6-1 lead in the opening stanza, with sophomore libero Courtney Johnson (Dana Point, CA) back at the service line. Her tough serving eventually resulted in five service aces on the night.
However, CMS rallied back to tie it up at eight apiece as its offense fired off three consecutive kills from a trio of contributors.
Nonetheless, the Bulldogs took advantage of a few Athena errors to build a seven-point lead late in the frame.
With CMS' senior libero Katrina Lau (San Francisco, CA) at the back line, CMS quickly answered to even the count at 17. A back-and-forth battle ensued until the Athenas strung together a 4-1 run to finish out the first set.
The second stanza saw a similar turn of events as Johnson initiated the Bulldog attack by rattling off six straight service points. Redlands put together a solid 14-7 lead only to watch the Athenas come roaring back and eventually tie it up at 16.
CMS broke a late 22-all tie with an effective offense, with two of its kills coming from sophomore outside hitter Regina Mullen (Menlo Park, CA). She eventually led all players with 14 on the night.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the third frame included an early, six-point deficit that led to the defeat.
Junior setter Alisha Cornick (Hollister, CA) dished out 13 assists. Sophomore right-side attacker Jackie Starks (Long Beach, CA) and freshman libero Karly Burningham (Sonoma, CA) shared the team-lead with 14 digs each.
In addition to Mullen, CMS (8-1, 1-0 SCIAC) looked to junior outside hitter Megan Richman (Highland Heights, OH) to post double-digit kills with 13.
Freshman libero Arianna Sifuentes (Chino, CA) recorded a match-high 21 digs as senior setter Taylor Jones (Scottsdale, AZ) distributed 30 assists for the Athenas.
Redland (3-3, 0-1 SCIAC) heads to Whittier College on Saturday for a 6 p.m. SCIAC match against the Poets.