The Wildcats kicked off their second trip to California with a Wednesday evening matchup against #1 Concordia University - Irvine. The host Eagles found themselves in an early deficit against Johnson & Wales but quickly countered to take a 7-4 lead. Johnson & Wales took advantage of a CUI squad that hadn't played in a couple of weeks to go on a six point run but it was short lived as Concordia challenged to tie the set at 13.
Both sides traded points before the Eagles closed out the set on a 5-0 run to take the opening set 25-18. In the second set, JWU again jumped out quickly on the Eagles for a 5-1 early advantage. Concordia continued to work their way back into the set and caught up to take a 10-9 lead. The 'Cats found themselves down just a few points and took a timeout as they trailed 17-21. The timeout was effective as they broke up the Eagles momentum to keep themselves in the set but couldn't get the final run needed dropping the second set 23-25.
The third set played out just as the second ended with momentum equal on both sides of the net. Neither team let the other to string together more then a few points before countering with a scoring burst of their own. The Eagles held the edge late in the set that the Wildcats were not able to overcome as CUI took the final set 25-21.
Freshman Josh Buted (Honolulu, Hawaii) recorded 9 kills for the Wildcats and Weston Buker (Ventura, Calif.) finished with 2.5 blocks. Chase Squires (Clarence Center, N.Y.) had 19 assists for Johnson & Wales. Timothy Chapel had 12 kills for Concordia-Irvine. Roman Seghezzi had 22 digs.
The Wildcats will travel to #5 Hope International for a Thursday night contest.