The Wildcats returned home on Friday after spending the last five weeks on the road to take on South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
In the opening set the 'Cats were back and forth with the Lady 'Rockers before SDSMT went on a six point run to begin to pull away. The 'Cats broke up the run but it was short-lived as SD Mines used a couple more small runs to pull away on their way to a 25-12 opening set victory. The 'Cats were held to just four kills in the opening set. In the second set the Hardrockers opened again with an early lead but the 'Cats rallied to tie the second set 8-8. South Dakota Mines went on a 9-2 run to break up the tie and lead 17-10. The Wildcats picked up a few points but SDSMT was able to pull off the 25-14 win.
In the third set the Wildcats came out swinging with an early 5-1 advantage. The 'Rockers pulled back within a point but the 'Cats again built some distance. After rallying to tie the set, SDSMT went up 13-11 on JWU. The two sides traded points with the 'Cats holding the 19-18 lead. South Dakota Mines rallied to go up 23-21. JWU came back to tie the set again this time 23-23. The two teams again tied at 24-24 before SDSMT found the final two points to take the 26-24 win and the 3-0 match sweep.
Erynn Keeney (Thornton, Colo.) had a team high seven kills for Johnson & Wales and Katie Malachinski (Stevensville, Mont.) added six more kills. Ashlee Ruehs (Phoenix, Ariz.) had 17 assists and 10 digs for Johnson & Wales.
The Wildcats will host Colorado College on Tuesday night at 6pm in the Wildcat Center as the 'Cats honor their graduating seniors in their final home game.