PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team remained one of four unbeaten NCAA Division III teams in the country by taking down visiting Simmons on Wednesday. The Wildcats ran their winning streak to 14 games as they topped Simmons, 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-21).
Simmons: 4-7, 1-2 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 14-0, 4-0 GNAC
Johnson & Wales breezed to a first-set victory, but the Sharks fought back in the second set as they took a 10-8 lead on a Kenna McCarthy kill. From there, however, it was all JWU as serving runs from Monica Cordova (Jersey City, NJ), Elizabeth Hamilton (Canton, Mass.) and Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, NY) put the set out of reach.
A Morgan Weeg kill – one of her match-high 12 kills – gave Simmons a 20-17 lead in the third set, but the Wildcats stormed back to finish off the Sharks. An Emily Kalmink (Byron City, Mich.) kill started an 8-1 JWU run to end the match. Weeg recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs. Libero Alex Itasaka led SC with 13 digs.
JWU's defense was the difference as the Wildcats had seven blocks and 62 digs, compared to two and 52 for the visitors. Kalmink had a team-high six rejections while libero Gianna Esposito (Larkspur, Calif.) was one of four players with nine or more digs with her match-high 16. Coniglio added 14 digs and Hamilton recorded 13.
Kalmink and fellow middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) led the Wildcat offense with 11 kills each. Walker hit .588 as the top attacking team in the country out-hit Simmons .318-to-.121. Setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) had 37 assists and nine digs.
Johnson & Wales goes on the road this weekend for the Roger Williams Invitational. The Wildcats open with Coast Guard on Friday 7 p.m.