MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Bragging rights in the Somera family go to Nancy. Her 14th-ranked Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team went on the road to take down Wesleyan 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18) on Thursday. The Cardinals are coached by her husband, Ben.
Johnson & Wales: 24-0
Johnson & Wales had its consecutive set streak stopped in set two. JWU won the first set to push its run to 64 in a row. The Wildcats came up just two sets short of their own NCAA Division III record of 66 consecutive sets won. NYU on September 1 – the first day of the 2017 season - was the last team to take a set off Johnson & Wales.
JWU found itself down early in the opening set, but rallied to take a 13-12 lead on a block by Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) and Katie Leidhold (Acushnet, Mass.). Wesleyan tied it at 20-20, but Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) got a kill then served four-straight points to win the opening stanza.
Tied 6-6 in the second set, Wesleyan went on a 5-1 run to take an 11-7 lead. JWU got the deficit down to one, including 24-23, but the Cardinals pulled out the set victory.
The outside hitter duo of Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) and Leidhold led the way, combining for 34 kills. Coniglio had a season-high 20 kills to go along with 10 digs. Leidhold also had a double-double with 14 kills and 13 digs.
Four players had double-digit digs, led by libero Elyssa Nicolas' (Brisbane, Calif.) match-high 17, as the Wildcats had a 63-52 advantage. Junior Monica Cordova (Jersey City, N.J.) notched 13 digs – her highest total since her freshman year.
The service line also played a factor in the match. The Wildcats had eight aces and the Cardinals committed seven service errors.
The Wildcats travel to Juniata on Saturday to take on Susquehanna at 2 p.m. followed by the 19th-ranked Eagles at 6 p.m.