The 'Cats welcomed Cardinal Stritch Univeristy into Denver for the home opening contest on Thursday evening.
In the opening set the two teams traded points early before the Wildcats started to build some momentum midway through the set. JWU took advantage of Cardinal Stritch errors to go on an 8-4 run and go up 18-11. Freshman outside hitter Josh Buted (Honolulu, Hawaii) came up with big kills in the set as JWU took the 25-18 victory.
The Wolves opened the second set with an early 8-3 lead but the 'Cats stuck with it and tied the contest at 11 off a Billy Curl (El Cajon, Calif.) ace. After the rally, the Wolves came up with a four point run putting themselves in front of JWU. Johnson & Wales wasn't able to put together a scoring run of their own as CSU took the 25-21 win.
Cardinal Stritch maintained their momentum in the third set holding a 14-9 lead over Johnson & Wales as the 'Cats struggled with their attack. CSU held a 16-11 lead before JWU started to pull their way back in. Despite their best efforts late, the Wildcats dropped the middle set 23-25.
After a fairly even start, Cardinal Stritch went on a 13-4 run as Johnson & Wales struggled to keep their attacks inbounds. The Wolves kept their pace going as they took the 25-14 win. Ty Coutts (Colorado Springs, Colo.) finished the match with a .562 attacking percentage nothing 10 kills and just one error. Buted had a game high 16 kills for JWU and added 10 digs. The 'Cats outblocked the Wolves 9 to 7 with Francis Berrios-Hernandez (Carolina, Puerto Rico) leading with four including three solo blocks.
The two teams will face off again on Friday at 3pm as JWU looks to pick up the home win.