Clarke Crusaders slide past JWU in three

Johnson & Wales University fell 0-3 (15-25, 19-25, 20-25) to #9 Clarke University on Saturday night at the Colorado Convention Center. The two sides took to the court in an exhibition match during the 2012 Colorado Crossroads tournament. The Wildcats look much improved from their outing the night before, hitting .286 in the first set. Tyler Wills provided a late spurt for the Crusaders to fend off the Wildcats 25-15.

The second set had Johnson & Wales struggling from the start with the Crusaders opening a sizeable 11-2 lead before the Wildcats started to make a dent. Errors plagued Clarke as the set ensued and JWU was able to pull themselves back into the contest. Unfortunately the early Crusader lead was costly as the Wildcats fell 19-25.

The third set was open for the taking as the Crusaders still had problems with attacking errors and the Wildcats were primed from their rally in the last set. Johnson & Wales were strong on the offensive side of the net, hitting .278 to control the tempo of the set. The Crusaders would use short scoring runs late in the set between Wildcat errors to pull out the 25-20 lead.

Blake Walden finished the match with .375 attacking behind 13 kills for the Wildcats. Freshman middle Ty Coutts had a strong night with 5 kills and just one error for Johnson & Wales. Damon Sichler had 20 assists for JWU while Ryan Schroerlucke came up with 13 digs.

Johnson & Wales will host Cardinal Stritch University on Sunday night at 7pm in the Wildcat Center.