PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 15 Johnson & Wales women's volleyball team (12-3, 3-0 GNAC) remained perfect in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action following a 3-0 victory over Simmons University (9-5, 3-1 GNAC) on Wednesday evening.
Simmons looked strong out of the gate in first set, taking a 5-2 lead, however Johnson & Wales responded. Sophomore middle blocker Elisabeth Elbrecht (Owings, Md.) ignited a 5-0 run to take an 8-5 lead and appear to take control of the match.
Building a four-point, 14-10, lead the Sharks began to chip away at the deficit. Simmons junior outside hitter Morgan Weeg (Goodyear, Ariz.) sparked a 5-0 of run of to tie the set a 15-15 and force the Wildcats to call its first timeout of the set.
Coming out of the timeout, the Wildcats re-gained the a two-point lead, but the Sharks were not going away quietly. With three ties in the final moments of the first set, the teams battled back-and-forth before senior middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) and sophomore outside hitter Tiah Scott (Medford, Mass.) sealed the 25-22 set win with a block.
For the second straight set, the Sharks jumped out of the gate with a 5-3 lead, but the Wildcats soon mounted a comeback with a 5-1 run to take an 8-6 advantage. Similar to the first set, Simmons continued to hang around pulling to within one point twice on kills by sophomore Krissy Lloyd (Tampa, Fla.).
However, with a 9-8 lead Johnson & Wales began to pull away going on a 4-1 run, sparked by a Sharks miscue on the serve. During the run senior outside hitter Maria Congilio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) notched a pair of kills, the second of which forced Simmons to call its first timeout of the set with the Wildcats in front, 13-9.
Following the time out, the Wildcats extended its lead to 14-10 and never looked back, taking the second set, 25-22.
Hitting .364 early in game three, Simmons utilized 8-0 run, sparked by first-year Sydney Iannantuono (East Lyme, Conn.) to build a 14-6 lead. But Johnson & Wales flipped the switch and responded with a 6-0 run of its own, to claw its way back to within two points and force Simmons to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Lloyd and junior Megan Purser (Miami, Fla.) went up for a block assist to give the Sharks a 15-12 lead, which they held until the closing moments of the match. Trailing by a pair, 20-18, late in the set, Frank ignited a 7-0 run with a kill before sealing the match with a pair of kills.
No. 15 Johnson & Wales breaks from conference play, traveling to Endicott College tomorrow, Thursday at 6 p.m.