FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NO. 1 JWU 3, NO. 4 SUFFOLK
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 21 Johnson & Wales women's volleyball team (26-4) returns to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship Game for the sixth straight year with a 3-0 victory over Suffolk University (20-12) on Thursday evening.
Kate Walker (JWU) – 8 Kills, .615 Att.%, 4 Total Blocks (3 BA, 1 BS)
Hannah Dolan (JWU) – 9 Kills, .467 Att.%, 3 Total Blocks
Tiah Scott (JWU) – 6 Kills, .455 Att.%, 1 BS
Brylee Frank (JWU) – 27 Assists, 2 BA
Hitting .429 as a team with 10 kills on 21 attempts, Johnson & Wales set the tone of the match from the beginning. Senior outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) capped an 10-3 to open the first set and force the Rams to call its first timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Suffolk clawed its way back, pulling to within four points, 11-7, but that's when Johnson & Wales made its second extended run. Taking advantage of Ram miscues, the Wildcats built a 15-7 lead. Back-to-back kills by sophomore outside hitter Tiah Scott (Medford, Mass.) gave the Wildcats an 18-8 advantage, before capping off the first set with 7-1 run.
The second set looked similar to the first set, with the Wildcats taking an early 10-3 lead. Senior middle blocker Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) and junior outside hitter Kelly Delaney (Calais, Maine) went up for a block and extended the Wildcat lead to nine, 13-4.
Johnson & Wales did not let up. With a commanding 10-point lead late and a dominating performance at the net defensively, Senior middle blocker Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) capped off the second set victory with a pair of blocks to take the 2-0 match advantage.
Unwilling to let its season go away quietly, the Rams kept the score close early in the third set, tying the score six times. After a kill by Suffolk junior middle blocker Stephanie Rheaume (Hampton, N.H.) tied the match at nine, the Wildcats flipped the switch. Senior setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) notched a kill to ignite a 9-2 run to create some separation between the two teams, to take an 18-11 lead.
The Rams pulled back to within five points following a bad set by Frank, but it served as motivation for the Wildcats. Frank answered with a kill on the following play as Johnson & Wales sealed the match with a 5-2 run as it heads back to the GNAC title match for the sixth consecutive year.
Johnson & Wales will host third-seed Rivier University in a re-match of last year's GNAC championship match on Saturday, November 9 at 3 p.m. after Riv came from behind to top second-seeded Simmons University on the road, 3-2, on Thursday night.
Courtesy of JWU Athletics Communications.
NO. 3 RIVIER 3, NO. 2 SIMMONS 2
BOSTON, Mass. – Down 2-0 on the road, third-seeded Rivier University strung together an impressive comeback to take down second-seeded Simmons University, 3-2, on Thursday evening in the GNAC Semifinals. That come-from-behind victory sets up a rematch from last year between the Raiders and Johnson & Wales University, set for 3:00 PM on Saturday afternoon at the Wildcat Center in Providence, R.I. A full recap from Thursday's contests will be posted shortly.
The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 22 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.
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