PROVIDENCE, RI – Stingy defense by visiting Rivier University was the undoing of the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team on Tuesday. The Wildcats lost their GNAC opener 3-0 (18-25, 20-25, 20-25).
Rivier: 6-5, 1-0 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 3-7, 0-1 GNAC
Donovan Kelley (JWU): 7 kills, 4 blocks
Grant Adler (RU): 12 kills, 3 blocks
JWU took a 13-12 lead in the first set on a Kanila Chang kill, but the serves of Garrett Bucklin and Khaynen Yocca gave the Raiders a 22-15 advantage. A Cameron Ponce ace pulled JWU within 12-8 in the second set, but the Raiders went on a 6-2 run that put the set out of reach. The Wildcats were only down 20-17 in the third set, but a Grant Adler kill and JWU error pushed the Rivier lead back to five.
Middle blocker Donovan Kelley led the Johnson & Wales offense with seven kills and also had a team-high four kills. Chang was next with six kills and six digs. Ponce had a 19-assist, 10-dig double-double.
Adler led all players with 12 kills. Bucklin handed out a match-high 33 assists to go along with nine digs and six blocks. The Raiders out-dug the Wildcats, 50-47, and had 12 blocks to limit the Wildcats to a .043 hitting percentage. Rivier produced a .240 hitting percentage.
Johnson & Wales returns to the court on February 14 to take on No. 11 Wentworth.