NEWTON, Mass. – The Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team swept a pair of GNAC matches on Saturday to end the regular season undefeated. The 11th-ranked Wildcats beat Saint Joseph's 3-0 (25-15, 25-10, 25-13) then topped Mount Ida 3-0 (25-12, 25-14, 25-8).
Johnson & Wales: 29-0
It's been over two years since Johnson & Wales has lost a conference match. JWU has won 26-straight conference games since a loss at Rivier on October 22, 2015.
Setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) had the offense humming in the opener against Saint Joseph's. Four different players recorded five or more kills, topped by Maria Coniglio's (Old Bethpage, NY) match-high 12 kills. Led by middle blocker Hannah Dolan's (San Clemente, Calif.) .875 rate, the nation's top offensive team hit .414.
JWU was just as good on defense, holding a 50-30 advantage in digs to limit the Monks to .062 hitting. Coniglio added 12 digs for a double-double. Rookie Elyssa Nicolas (Brisbane, Calif.) posted a team-high 13 digs.
It was more of the same in the nightcap against the Mustangs. The Wildcats hit .361 as Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) – the nation's leading hitter – had a match-high eight kills while hitting .615. Tying Walker with eight winners was Bella Oldham (Irvine, Calif.) and she added nine digs to just miss a double-double.
Nicolas led all players with 12 digs to help limit Mount Ida to a .000 hitting percentage. More than half of JWU's nine aces came from Nicolas and Oldham at two and three, respectively.
Johnson & Wales is the number one seed for the upcoming GNAC Tournament. The Wildcats will get their second look at Mount Ida in four days as the Mustangs come in for a 7:30 p.m. contest on Tuesday.