PROVIDENCE, RI – The winning train continued down the tracks for the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team on Tuesday. The Wildcats overcame a third-set hiccup to defeat Emerson 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17).
Emerson: 10-8, 3-6 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 12-12, 4-3 GNAC
Johnson & Wales got out to fast starts to win the first two sets. The Wildcats had an early advantage in the third set, but the Lions came back to take a 13-10 lead. JWU dug itself out of a 23-20 hole, but Emerson got a kill and an ace to force a fourth set. Johnson & Wales made sure there wasn't a fifth set as they jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the fourth set on a Nick Bitetto kill.
The Wildcats' defense held Emerson to a .135 hitting percentage and helped JWU hit .333. The Wildcats had a 54-46 advantage in digs to go along with nine blocks.
Recording his second triple-double of the season was Cameron Ponce with 13 kills, 18 assists and 12 digs. Endel Sanchez produced a 22-assist, 11-dig double-double. Senior Matt LaVasseur notched 10 kills and a game-high five blocks while hitting .643.
Topping all players was Emerson's Mark Piorkowski with 16 kills. Win Kittivatcharapong was next with nine winners while Nick Rusk just missed a double-double with eight kills and 13 digs.
Johnson & Wales is back in action Thursday against Emmanuel at 7 p.m. It's the team's Big Game with a free pair of wireless headphone raffled off in between sets two and three.