The volleyball team fought hard but could not overcome No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference semifinals Nov. 1, losing to the Athenas, 3-1. It was the Leopards’ second straight semifinals elimination.
The final score could be misleading. In three of the four sets the teams were separated by five points of less.
In the first set, CMS and La Verne traded early points. Each team took a lead at one point, but it was the Athenas who were able to separate with a four-point run that made the score 10-6. From that point on, they would hold on and lead for the entire set and take it, 25-19.
After losing the first set, the Leopards responded in the second in a big way on the defensive end. They won on a 3-0 run after being tied at 22. Senior outside hitter Kelsie Sievers and junior middle blocker Brianna Voght teamed up for a block in that run to put the set away. As a team, La Verne blocked five shots in the set, which led to multiple points.
The next two sets did not go the Leopards’ way; they would lose the third, 25-22, and the fourth, 29-27.
La Verne was led by freshman outside hitter Haley Celaya with 15 kills. Sievers and senior middle blocker Katelyn Winiecki both added 11 kills of their own, while senior libero Kristen Sanchez had a game-high 28 digs. Junior Madison Maynes contributed 38 assists.