PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Top-seed No. 21 Johnson & Wales women's volleyball team (25-4) defeated the eighth-seed Lasell University (9-23), 3-0, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarterfinals, Tuesday evening.
Kate Walker (JWU) – 12 Kills, .800 Att.%, 4 Total Blocks (2 BS, 2 BA)
Maria Coniglio (JWU) – 10 Kills, .556 Att.%, 7 Digs, 2 Total Blocks (1 BS, 1 BA)
Brylee Frank (JWU) – 26 Assists, 7 Digs
Hannah Dolan (JWU) – 3 Block Assists
Lasell took advantage of a few Johnson & Wales miscues early, to jump out to a 5-1 lead, but the Wildcats did not panic. Senior middle blocker Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) and sophomore outside hitter Tiah Scott (Medford, Mass.) sparked a 14-1 run with block to take a commanding 15-6 lead.
The Wildcats never looked back. Hitting an outstanding .625 as a team, Johnson & Wales registered 11 kills on 16 attempts with just one error to take the first set with ease, 25-9.
Moving into the second set, the Wildcat offense continued to show its dominance over the Lasers. From the service line, senior defensive specialist Elyssa Nicolas (San Francisco, Calif.) helped the Wildcats open the set with a 5-0 run.
Scott helped Johnson & Wales build on its lead registering back-to-back kills, immediately after entering to go in front 8-2. Moments later, an ace by senior outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) and a kill from Dolan put the Wildcats up 10-2 and forced Laser head coach Dana Jones to call his first time out of the set.
Lasell chipped its way back into the match, pulling to within two points, 11-9, before senior middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) re-entered the match and halted the comeback. The northern California native ignited a 10-1 run with a kill to put the Wildcats back in total control, going on to take the set, 25-15.
In the driver's seat with a 2-0 match advantage, Johnson & Wales showed no signs of letting up. Coniglio opened the third set with a kill as the Wildcats jumped out to an early 4-1 lead. A rare mistake on the Wildcat offense, followed by a kill by Lasell's Meg Roberts (Newington, Conn.) pulled Lasers to within a point, 4-3. But Johnson & Wales answered.
Senior setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) notched one of her two kills of the match to spark a 9-3 run to give Johnson & Wales a 13-6 and force Lasell to use a timeout. But it did nothing to quell the potent Wildcats, going on to take the third and final set, 25-14.
No. 21 Johnson & Wales hosts the fourth-seed Suffolk University in the GNAC semifinals on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.