PROVIDENCE, RI – With the heart of the GNAC schedule on the horizon, the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team gained some momentum by sweeping three matches on Saturday. The Wildcats started by beating Dean College 3-0 (25-16, 25-6, 25-5), then took down Illinois Tech 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-20) before finally stopping Eastern Nazarene 3-0 (25-8, 25-21, 28-26)
Johnson & Wales: 13-11
Kanila Chang: 11 kills, 6 digs vs. Illinois Tech
Zach Turner: 8 kills, 3 blocks vs. Illinois Tech
Jason Rhee: 28 assists, 8 aces vs. Dean / 28 assists vs. ENC
Kyle MacKnight: 10 kills vs. ENC
After shaking off the rust from a two-week layoff in the first set, the Wildcat rolled past the Bulldogs. JWU's serving was a major advantage as it recorded 19 aces, the second-highest total of the year. Setter Jason Rhee (Aurora, Colo.) notched eight of them to go along with 28 assists. Rookies Michael Foglia (Wayne, NJ) and Josh Pitzer (North Kingstown, RI) tied for the match-high with eight kills.
Illinois Tech provided a tougher fight, but the Wildcats were too tough on defense. The Wildcats had a 6-1 advantage in blocks and 25-18 digs margin. Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) topped all players with 11 kills as well as six digs. Freshman Zach Turner (Coventry, RI) produced eight kills and three blocks. Setter Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) handed out 25 assists.
The JWU offense was humming in the final match against Eastern Nazarene. The Wildcats hit .358 while holding the Lions to .165. Johnson & Wales also held a 34-25 advantage for digs. Kyle MacKnight (East Northport, NY) produced a team-high 10 kills. Rhee handed out 28 assists while Matt LaVasseur (Salem, NH) notched a match-high four blocks as well as six kills.
The Wildcats get into conference action on Tuesday when they travel to Emmanuel for a 7 p.m. match.