PROVIDENCE, RI – For most of the first two sets, the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team looked like it was on its way to upsetting 14th-ranked Wentworth. The Leopards rallied to win the second set and go on to beat the Wildcats 3-1 (28-16, 21-25, 15-25, 21-25) on Wednesday.
Wentworth: 8-3, 2-1 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 3-8, 0-2 GNAC
Johnson & Wales had a 17-14 first-set lead on a Donovan Kelley kill, but the Leopards fought back to take a 19-18 advantage on an Ollie Oshman kill. A pair of Wentworth errors gave the Wildcats the opening set. Three Leopard errors staked the Wildcats to a 14-9 margin in the second set. The serve of Ryan Engel gave WIT the lead late as it went on to tie the match 1-1.
Jon Roat got the Leopards out to a 9-4 lead to start the third set as they cruised to a 2-1 advantage. Wentworth appeared to be on its way to taking the fourth set, but the Wildcats pulled within 23-21 on a Cameron Ponce kill. A Roat kill and JWU error ended the match.
Kelley and Ponce led the Wildcat attack with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Ponce added 13 digs for his fifth double-double of the year. Alex Seda produced 15 digs and Endel Sanchez handed out a match-high 31 assists.
Wentworth's blocking was a major key to victory, as the Leopards produced 11 rejections while JWU had just three. Roat topped all players with 14 kills while Oshman was next at 13. Peter Klembczyk notched a match-high 25 digs.
The Wildcats are on the road this weekend as they take part in the Golden Flyer Invitational, hosted by Nazareth.