PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University men's volleyball team took on a pair of strong opponents on day two of the JWU Invitational. The Wildcats played one of their best matches of the season to top Nazareth 3-1 (25-18, 16-25, 25-15, 25-21). JWU hung with 10th-ranked Endicott, but ultimately dropped a 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-19) decision to the Gulls.
Johnson & Wales: 9-3
The win over Nazareth was JWU's first over the Golden Flyers. The Wildcats were 0-11.
JWU got out to a fast start in set one with Sanjae Holloway staking the Wildcats to a 13-3 lead. A block in set two got the Wildcats within 14-12, but the Golden Flyers ended on an 11-4 run. Johnson & Wales went from down 11-9 to up 15-12 on its way to winning the fourth set.
The Wildcats hit .317 while also posting eight blocks. Nazareth did have a 53-32 advantage in digs.
Cameron Ponce had the JWU offensive in system, handing out 31 assists with four different players notching seven or more kills.
Holloway surpassed his career-high with 15 kills and just missed a double-double with nine digs. Freshman Jack Pincince produced a season-high 13 kills.
Back-to-back kills by Donovan Kelley and Ponce pulled the Wildcats within 21-18 in the first set, but a pair of JWU miscues gave the Gulls the opening frame. A Josh Pitzer winner got the Wildcats to 20-18 in the third set, but Endicott came through with three-straight kills to put the match out of reach.
Endicott had a .354 to .169 hitting advantage as well as a 46-31 digs margin. The Gulls added six service aces.
JWU produced a 7-2 blocks advantage included three from Ponce who also had a team-high eight kills.
JWU goes on the road Tuesday to take on Colby-Sawyer at 7 p.m. in the first meeting as conference opponents.