WALTHAM, Mass. – Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball coach Nancy Somera could hardly ask for a better starting weekend from her team. The young Wildcats squad did not drop a set at the Brandeis Invitational as they rolled to a pair of 3-0 victories on Saturday. JWU topped Wellesley 25-11, 26-24, 25-23 then beat Plymouth State, 25-23, 25-12, 25-11.
Johnson & Wales: 3-0
Plymouth State: 0-3
Maria Coniglio: 13 Kills vs. Wellesley / 8 Kills, 9 Digs vs. Plymouth State
Brylee Frank: 34 Assists vs. Wellesley / 27 Assists vs. Plymouth State
Emily Kalmink: 8 Kills vs. Wellesley / 7 Kills, .500 Hitting % vs. Plymouth State
It's the first 3-0 start for the Wildcats since the 2010 campaign. JWU finished that season with a 24-13 record and won the GNAC.
For the second day in a row, rookie outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, NY) led the way offensively. She had 13 kills in the opener against Wellesley and nearly missed a double-double with eight kills and nine digs against PSU. Coniglio had 33 kills during her opening weekend as a Wildcat.
The "veteran" of the offense, sophomore middle blocker Emily Kalmink (Byron City, Mich.) continued her steady play with eight kills against the Blue. In the second match against Plymouth State, she hit .500 to go along with seven kills and four blocks.
Freshman setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) kept the Johnson & Wales offense humming with two good performances on Saturday. She notched 34 assists in the opener against Wellesley then came back to post 27 helpers versus the Panthers in game two. That effort earned her a spot on the all-tournament team.
The Wildcats play host to the JWU Invitational on September 9 and 10. Johnson & Wales opens the two-day affair against Amherst at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Purple & White knocked JWU out of the NCAA Tournament last year, 3-0.