PROVIDENCE, RI – Even though the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team hadn't played a match in almost two weeks, the Wildcats didn't show many signs of rust as they played hosted to the JWU Invitational on Friday. The Wildcats started their own tournament with a 3-0 (25-15, 20-10, 25-15) win over Lesley University, then beat Bard College, 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 14-25, 25-18).
JWU Record: 8-11
The win over Bard was a milestone for Johnson & Wales head coach Scott Reslow. He became the first Wildcat men's volleyball coach to post 100 career victories.
The Wildcats were on fire offensively during the first two sets against Lesley, hitting .500 and .565, respectively. For the match, Johnson & Wales hit a season-high .411. JWU continued its strong play on defense as it out-blocked the Lynx, 12-1.
Johnson & Wales had a very balanced attack as five different players recorded five or more kills. Leading the way was freshman Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) with 11 kills and 11 assists for a double-double. He also added five blocks and four digs. Alex Seda (San Juan, PR) and Brendan Baker (Providence, RI) were next with seven.
In the second match of the day, the Wildcats got out to a fast start with their defense leading the way. The Raptors hit -.038 in the opening set. Bard solved the JWU front line in the third frame, but the Wildcats made sure the match ended in four sets. The Raptors pulled within 17-15 but Ponce got a kill and served three-straight points to give JWU a comfortable cushion.
Baker led the Wildcats' attack with a match-high 12 kills. Junior Kyle MacKnight (East Northport, NY) also posted double-digit kills with 10 winners to go along with five digs. Pounce was close to a triple-double as he tallied 21 digs, seven kills and eight digs. Seda led the defense with 10 digs to go along with nine kills.
JWU will take on York (NY) and New Jersey City in the second day of the invitational.