PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team got out to a fast start against 14th-ranked MIT and didn't look back. The Wildcats picked up the first victory over a ranked opponent in program history as they defeated the Engineers, 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-17) on Friday.
Johnson & Wales: 15-0
On top of it being the first win over a ranked opponent, it was the first time Johnson & Wales defeated the Engineers. Prior to Friday, MIT had won all eight contests.
With the sweep, the Wildcats have won 39-straight sets, which ranks 13th in NCAA history. The win ran Johnson & Wales' regular season winning streak to 48 matches.
JWU started the first set by getting kills in four of its first five points for a 5-1 lead. MIT pulled within 14-10, but a Katie Leidhold (Acushnet, Mass.) kill pushed the lead to 17-10. The margin grew to as many as 24-15 on a kill by Gabbie Scudder (Ashburn, Va.).
Set two was much closer with 10 ties and six lead changes. A Lisette Tellez kill tied the match at 22-22, but the Engineers committed a pair of errors and Liedhold ripped a kill to pull out the win. JWU opened an 18-11 margin in the third set, but Andie Maloney closed MIT within 18-16. Two MIT errors, a JWU block and kills from Leidhold and Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) sealed the victory.
Three different Wildcats had a double-double. Setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) masterfully ran the JWU offense with 39 assists to go along with 10 digs. Leidhold and Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) tied for the match-high with 12 kills. Leidhold led all players with 15 digs while Coniglio chipped in 12.
JWU's defense was the key as the Wildcats out-dug the Engineers, 57-48. That led Johnson & Wales, the number one hitting team in the country, to hit .330 while MIT was held to .135.
Johnson & Wales gets back into conference action on Saturday when it hosts Norwich at 1 p.m