The men's volleyball team is off to the best start in school history after a pair of victories at the Live Free Or Die Tournament on Saturday moved the Wildcats record to 8-1 on the year. JWU opened the day with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-16) win over host Daniel Webster and capped the day with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 27-25) victory against Endicott, the 18th ranked team in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
In the win over Daniel Webster, Johnson & Wales was led by junior captain Ryan Kennedy (West Barnstable, Mass.) with 11 kills, seven digs and two blocks while senior setter J.J. Bessette (Coventry, R.I.) recorded a double-double with 31 set assists and 10 digs in the victory. Senior Chris Espinola (Derry, N.H.) had five kills, seven digs and a team-best four blocks for the Wildcats. Joey Hendrix paced Daniel Webster with nine kills and six digs while Tommy Reyes registered 11 set assists and seven digs in the loss for the Eagles.
Sophomore Brendan Baker (Providence, R.I.) led the way for JWU in the win over Endicott, posting 14 kills and five digs while Bessette notched 32 set assists, nine digs and two blocks in the win. John Osborne tallied a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs in the setback for Endicott while Troy Riorden recorded 18 set assists, three kills and five digs for the Gulls.
The Wildcats will return to action on Sunday, February 1st when they participate in day two of the Live Free Or Die Tournament against Newbury at 11:00 a.m.