BOSTON – Heavy snow on Tuesday kept the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team from traveling to Emmanuel College. The Wildcats put that extra day of rest to good use as they rallied to win the fourth and fifth sets on their way to a 3-2 (24-26, 25-23, 18-25, 25-14, 15-8) victory on Wednesday.
Johnson & Wales: 14-11, 3-3 GNAC
Emmanuel: 5-11, 1-2 GNAC
In the first set, Johnson & Wales took a 23-21 lead on a kill by Donovan Kelley (Encinitas, Calif.). Kelley was one of two Wildcats to post double-digit kills as he notched a career-high 13. Unfortunately, the Wildcats committed three-straight errors as the Saints went on to a 26-24 first-set win. JWU almost gave up a 24-20 lead in set two as Emmanuel came within 24-23, but the Saints committed a hitting error on set point.
After losing the third set by seven, the Wildcats won the fourth set, 25-14. Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) rolled off six points with his serve to put the set out of reach and force a deciding fifth set. He posted a career-high 15 kills to go along with seven digs and two blocks.
The Saints pulled within 8-7 in the fifth set before the Wildcats ended the match on a 7-1 run. Freshman Matt McCarthy (Millis, Mass.) and senior Kyle MacKnight (East Northport, NY) had nine kills each, including a winner down the stretch.
Setter Cameron Ponce (San Jose, Calif.) had a double-double with 42 assists and 10 digs. Libero Alex Seda (San Juan, PR) tied his career-high with 18 digs. JWU played strong defense with the advantage in digs (58-48) and blocks (8-4) while hitting .205.
JWU is back at home on Tuesday when it plays host to Rivier at 7 p.m. It's the team's Big Game with free giveaways for all fans and in-game contests.