NASHUA, N.H. – The No. 21 Johnson & Wales women's volleyball team (18-4, 7-0 GNAC) rallied from an 0-2 hole to comeback and defeat Rivier University (17-6, 5-2 GNAC), 3-2, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action Tuesday evening.
Kate Walker (JWU) – 13 Kills, .458 Att.%, 3 Total Blocks
Maria Coniglio (JWU) – 14 Kills, 19 Digs, 5 Total Blocks
Hannah Dolan (JWU) – 11 Kills, .345 Att.%
Brylee Frank (JWU) – 41 Asists
Four years ago to the day, October 22, 2015, was the last time Johnson & Wales dropped a game to a conference opponent and it was against Rivier in Nashua, N.H. The Raiders appeared as if the Wildcats would face a similar fate, taking a 2-0 advantage.
With its back against the wall, trailing by two sets, Johnson & Wales showed resilience in the third set. Senior middle blocker Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) ignited a 5-1 run to put distance between the Wildcats and Raiders. The Wildcats never looked back, junior outside hitter Kelly Delaney (Calais, Maine) sealed the third set with a kill to pull Johnson & Wales to within a game.
The fourth set was a barn-burner with both teams exchanging the lead three times until the Wildcats took a 7-6 lead on a kill by senior middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.). Taking advantage of Raiders miscues, the Wildcats went on a 9-2 run to take a commanding 15-8 advantage and never looked back. Junior outside hitter Bella Oldham (Irvine, Calif.) capped off an 8-1 stretch and sealed the 25-11 set win and tie the match at two games a piece.
Johnson & Wales carried its momentum into the fifth and final set. Hitting a solid, .316 as a team and the set tied at six, the Wildcats went on a mini-5-0 run to force the Raiders to call their first time out of the set.
Rivier managed to grab two points and force Johnson & Wales to call its first timeout, but the Wildcats made good use of the break. Coming out of the time out, senior outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) ignited a 4-1 run to seal the come-from-behind victory.
No. 21 Johnson & Wales travels to Standish, Maine for a GNAC tri-match against Lasell University (3 p.m.) and Saint Joseph's College of Maine (5 p.m.).