PROVIDENCE, RI – On the court for the first time in 2019, the Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team went 1-1 on day one of the JWU Tip-Off Tournament. Johnson & Wales started the season with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-17) loss to top-ranked and defending national champion Springfield. The Wildcats rallied in game two with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-12) win over Baruch.
Johnson & Wales: 1-1
The Wildcats got within 18-16 in the first set, but the Pride pulled away thanks to a pair of blocks and two JWU errors. Johnson & Wales dug itself an early hole in the second set, but got back to 19-17 on a Cameron Ponce kill. Two more Wildcat errors helped Springfield take the 2-0 lead.
Springfield hit .300 while holding the Wildcats to a .066 rate. The Pride added six service aces and had an 8-4 blocking advantage.
Johnson & Wales was down 23-22 in the opening set against Baruch, but Sanjae Holloway produced a pair of kills and a block to give JWU the victory. JWU jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the second set and an 11-4 margin in the final stanza.
Holloway topped all players with 10 kills to go along with seven digs and three blocks. Ponce just missed a double-double with nine kills and a match-high 10 digs.
In the first day of his collegiate career, freshman setter Ben Sandt handed out 34 assists.
JWU out-dug Baruch, 34-23, and limited the Bearcats to a .027 hitting percentage. The Wildcats hit .209 and had nine blocks.
The JWU Tip-Off Tournament concludes Saturday with the Wildcats taking on Alvernia at 10 a.m.