UNION, N.J.– The 2017 season got off to a good start for the Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team. The Wildcats opened the Kean Invitational with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-20) triumph over Nebraska Wesleyan. JWU dropped the first set to NYU but came back to win 3-1 (23-25, 25-8, 25-19, 25-16).
Johnson & Wales: 2-0
Maria Coniglio: 18 kills, 7 digs (GM 1) / 15 kills, 18 digs (GM 2)
Brylee Frank: 36 assists, 8 digs (GM 1) / 42 assists, 12 digs (GM 2)
Mikayla Arimura: 18 digs (GM 1)
Elyssa Nicolas 20 digs (GM 2)
Sophomore Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, NY) picked up where she left off last season as she recorded a match-high 18 kills in the opener. She was one of five players with six or more digs as JWU held a 52-29 advantage. Coniglio posted her first double-double of the year against NYU, hamming 15 kills to go along with 18 digs.
Setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) had the JWU offense humming. She notched a double-double versus NYU with 42 assists and 12 digs after posting 36 assists in the opener.
Middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) was next with eight kills while hitting .692 versus Nebraska Wesleyan. In her collegiate debut, Mikayla Arimura (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) posted a match-high 15 digs and fellow rookie Elyssa Nicolas (Brisbane, Calif.) added 11. Nicolas led all players with 20 digs in the NYU match.
The top hitting team in the country last year, Johnson & Wales hit .323 in the win against NWU. In the nightcap, the Wildcats notched 84 digs, their most since they collected 102 versus Keene State on September 17, 2015.
Johnson & Wales is back on the court Saturday for a pair of matches. The Wildcats take on Albion at noon followed by a 2 p.m. contest with the host Cougars.