CLAREMONT, Calif. – It had been 1,041 days since the Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team lost a regular season game, but head coach Nancy Somera doesn't have to wonder how her team will react. After falling, 3-1 (24-26, 21-25, 25-23, 23-25), to Cal Lutheran in the season opener at the Pacific Coast Classic on Friday, the sixth-ranked Wildcats responded by taking down No. 1 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3-2 (19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-10, 15-6).
Johnson & Wales: 1-1
Brylee Frank (JWU): 41 assists, 14 digs, 11 kills vs. CMS / 45 assists, 10 digs vs. CLU
Maria Coniglio (JWU): 20 kills, 7 digs vs. CMS / 15 kills, 15 digs vs. CLU
Katie Leidhold (JWU): 12 kills, 10 digs vs. CMS
Kate Walker (JWU): 11 kills, 3 blocks vs. CMS / 14 kills vs. CLU
Elyssa Nicolas (JWU): 25 digs vs. CMS / 24 digs vs. CLU
It's the first time any Johnson & Wales team has beaten the number one team in the country. The JWU wrestling program beat No. 2 Augsburg during the 2013 season.
Prior to Friday, Johnson & Wales' last regular season loss was a 3-0 defeat to Connecticut College on October 24, 2015. The Wildcats proceeded to rattle off 61-straight regular season victories.
After losing a 20-14 lead in the third set, the Wildcats were a completely different team in the fourth and fifth sets. Katie Leidhold's serve staked JWU to a 9-3 lead in the fourth set. JWU jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the fifth thanks to six-straight service points from Mikayla Arimura that included kills from three different players.
History was also made by junior setter Brylee Frank. The All-American produced the first triple-double in school history with 41 assists, 14 digs and 11 kills. Leidhold had a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs while Maria Coniglio added 20 kills and Kate Walker chipped in 11.
Sophomore libero Elyssa Nicolas was outstanding in both games. The GNAC Libero of the Year had 25 digs against CMS after recording 24 in the opener versus Cal Lutheran.
On their way to forcing a fifth set against the Regals in the opener, the Wildcats let a 17-12 lead slip away. Blocking was the difference in the match where Cal Lutheran had a 7-3 advantage.
Coniglio produced her first double-double of the year with 15 kills and 15 digs versus CLU. Walker notched 14 kills and a .414 hitting percentage.
Johnson & Wales wraps up the Pacific Coast Classic on Saturday when it takes on Occidental and La Verne.