Johnson & Wales University hosted the Bethany College Swedes on Friday night in the final match of day one at the Wildcat Invitational. The two sides held each other to short scoring spurts throughout the first set. Abby Gonzalez showed incredible dominance on the outside with five kills in the opening set while Mallory Miller set up eight assists. Kaitlyn Davis had three kills for the Swedes.
In the second set, the Swedes lost a player early to injury and the Wildcats took advantage setting an 11-5 lead before Bethany regrouped an came roaring back. The Swedes pushed the Wildcats for every point and eventually took a 19-18 lead over JWU. The 'Cats wouldn't let that last for long, quickly erasing the deficit and putting themselves out front where they would stay for the rest of the set. Nicole Paradisa was the offensive force during the middle set with five kills of her own. Veronica Gibbs showed her resilience in the back row bringing up six digs. Alexa Gerber had three kills for Bethany.
The final set had the Wildcat Center crowd going crazy over each kill. The Swedes jumped out to a 9-5 lead early, but JWU went on a 4-0 run to tie the set at 9. The two squads matched one another point for point until JWU took the lead at 18-17 and continued on a 3-0 scoring boom. Bethany stepped up for their own 3-0 run to put the Wildcats up just a few points. The 'Cats shut down the rally for the win.
Gonzalez again put on a show with six kills to finish the night with 13 kills while Paradisa added 12 of her own. The Wildcats took the match 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-22). Gibbs had 16 digs and Paradisa added 13 of her own.
The Wildcats play Embry-Riddle on Saturday at 3:00 PM and La Sierra University at 7:30 PM.