BEVERLY, Mass. - The no. 15 nationally ranked women's volleyball team traveled to Endicott on Thursday evening and picked up a 3-1 win over the regionally ranked Gulls. Johnson & Wales, fourth in the NEWVA regional poll, was led by Kate Walker's 17 kills and .429 hitting percentage en route to the victory over the fifth seeded Gulls.
Kate Walker (JWU): 17 kills, 3 block assists
Brylee Frank (JWU): 49 set assists, 9 kills, 14 digs
Maria Coniglio (JWU): 15 kills, 18 digs
Tiah Scott (JWU): 12 kills
JWU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead by hitting a .389 and collecting 19 kills compared to the hosts 11. A set that saw 13 ties favored the Wildcats in the end when Maria Coniglio, Tiah Scott and Kelly Delaney grabbed a kill apiece to close out the opening frame 25-20.
Emily Corbett delivered an ace in the middle of a 5-0 run to begin the second set but Endicott answered with a run of their own to keep the set close early. With her team trailing 24-18, Corbett unleashed another run with help from Walker that brought JWU within two, 24-22, before the Gulls' Colleen McAvoy closed the door with a kill.
In set three, Endicott benefitted from an attacking error that brought them within one, 7-6. A big kill from Walker seemed to set the tone for the remainder of the frame as the Wildcats never let Endicott within a two point edge. The Oakland native put the finishing touch on the set, 25-21, and gave JWU a 2-1 lead. A seven point run with Bella Oldham at the service line in the middle of the fourth stanza gave the Wildcats the 3-1 victory.
Brylee Frank narrowly missed a triple-double for the second time this season with her nine kill, 14 dig and 49 assist performance. Hannah Dolan registered one block assist but was a presence at the net all night which helped limit the strong Endicott attack.
"It was a great defensive effort tonight which was a contributing factor in closing out the close sets." - Coach Nancy Somera
The Wildcats get back into Great Northeast Athletic Conference play this Saturday when they travel to the University of Saint Joseph for an 11 a.m. start.