PROVIDENCE, RI – Crosstown rivals met on the volleyball court Thursday night when the Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team traveled to Rhode Island College. The Wildcats ran their winning streak to 26 games as they defeated the Anchormen 3-0 (25-10, 29-27, 25-19).
Johnson & Wales: 26-0
Rhode Island College: 9-12
As has been the case of late, the Wildcats dominated the opening set, but let their opponent back in the match for sets two and three. JWU hit .500 in the opening stanza while limiting RIC to -.115. JWU hit under .200 in the final two sets but still had a .210-to-.070 advantage in hitting percentage.
The Anchormen almost became the second team this season to take a set off the Wildcats. JWU was up 22-16 and 24-21 in the second set, but allowed RIC to take a 27-26 advantage. Back-to-back kills by Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) and Elizabeth Hamilton (Canton, Mass.) then an RIC error gave the Wildcats the set. JWU ran its consecutive sets won streak to 45.
Leading the offense was freshman setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) as she had 33 assists and seven digs. The Wildcats had a 54-41 advantage in digs as four or more players had seven digs, including a match-high 15 from libero Gianna Esposito (Larkspur, Calif.).
Three players had eight or more kills, topped by freshman outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, NY). She had 10 kills and added eight digs. Middle blocker Emily Kalmink (Byron City, Mich.) had nine kills and seven blocks. Fellow middle Walker notched eight kills and hit a match-high .375.
Johnson & Wales is back at home on Saturday at 12 p.m. when it takes on St. Joseph (CT). Before the match, the Wildcats will honor the three seniors on this year's team.