PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The University of Saint Joseph volleyball team was upended by the Johnson & Wales Wildcats in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action on the road Saturday, 3-0. The Wildcats protected their home court and continued their undefeated season defeating the Blue Jays in straight sets 25-11, 25-11, 25-15. With the loss the Blue Jays fall to 10-14 overall and 4-5 in GNAC play. Johnson & Wales is now a perfect 27-0 on the year and 9-0 in the conference.
Strong serving by Johnson & Wales propelled the Wildcats to victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Johnson & Wales had 12 aces to just two by USJ on the afternoon and kept the Blue Jays out of system the entire day. The Wildcats were also dominant throughout each set on the attack and held a .322 to -.014 advantage in hitting percentage as well as a 40-30 margin in digs.
A pair of Wildcats reached double-digit kills, led by freshman outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, NY) with 12 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Emily Kalmink (Byron Center, MI) joined Coniglio in double-figures with 11 kills while hitting .786 for JWU.
The Wildcats offense was run under the direction of setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, FL). She recorded 33 assists to go along with seven digs and four aces. Rookie libero Gianna Esposito (Larkspur, CA) recorded 14 digs to pace the way for the home team defensively.
JWU set the tone early, getting out to a 10-1 lead in set one on its way to victory in the opener. Saint Joseph pulled to within 13-8 in the second set but then Frank went on a service run to extend the lead to 20-8. The third set was tied 12-12, however Kalmink came up with a kill which fueled a 5-0 service run to put the match out of reach.
Sophomore setter Brenna Miller (McCleary, WA) led the USJ offense with 10 assists, while freshman Amber Langlois (Stratford, CT) and Demetria Eiger (Phoenix, AZ) were tied with a team-high seven digs defensively. Senior Cassandra Grimaldi (Manchester, CT), junior Hannah Lemek (Bristol, CT) and sophomore Carly Ruzbasan (Torrington, CT) each posted three kills for the Blue Jays.
The USJ volleyball team will return to action next when they host Smith College on Senior Night on Thursday, Oct. 27. The match is slated to get underway at 7 p.m.