BOSTON – For the second time in 10 days, the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team picked up a victory over Emerson. The Wildcats all but sewed up a first-round GNAC Tournament home game with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) victory on Thursday.
Emerson: 12-11, 5-7
Johnson & Wales: 18-13, 7-5 GNAC
The first set was close until the midway point when Brendan Baker (Providence, RI) went on a five-point service run to open a 17-11 lead. Baker came up clutch again in the second set. The Lions pulled within 23-22, but he produced a kill then an EC error gave JWU the set. Emerson closed within 21-20 in the third set, but Donovan Kelley (Encinitas, Calif.) ripped a kill then three-straight Lions' errors ended the match.
Baker recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 12 kills and a game-high 13 digs. JWU had five players with five or more kills including Kelley and Kanila Chang (Orlando, Fla.) who had eight apiece. Setter Jason Rhee (Aurora, Colo.) dished out 30 assists and rookie Zach Turner (Coventry, RI) notched four blocks.
Johnson & Wales hit .247 while limiting the Lions to a .087 rate. The two teams were evenly matched on defense with the Wildcats holding a slight advantage for digs (39-35) and blocks (6-4).
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season on Saturday when they host a 10 a.m. tri match with Lasell and Emmanuel. JWU will honor the four seniors on this year's team before the 2 p.m. match against Emmanuel.