The Wildcats dropped their opening match at Colorado Crossroads as JWU moved their weekend contests to the Colorado Convention Center to be featured matches during the Junior National Qualifier. JWU began their Friday taking on #2 Grand View University.
The 'Cats played strong in the opening set staying within just a few points of the Vikings. JWU struggled just past the midway point as Grand View finished the opening set on a 9-5 run to win 25-19.
In the second set Johnson & Wales had a slow start before pulling to within one finding themselves down 8-7. The Vikings went on a 7-0 run to pull ahead of Johnson & Wales. The 'Cats couldn't overcome the early deficit as GVU closed out the set on a 10-7 run to take the middle game 25-14.
The final set of the match found the Wildcats putting together a more well-rounded set. The played well on both sides of the ball limiting the chances for the Vikings. A late run by GVU allowed them to take a 25-20 win.
In their second match of the afternoon, the Wildcats took on Cincinnati Christian University. Johnson & Wales played their best match of the year as the opened the first set with a 10-0 run to lead the Eagles 11-2. CCU attempted to pull their way back in but the 'Cats had built enough of a led to take the opening set 25-11.
In the second set the Wildcats led early before the Eagles clawed their way back in. JWU put together a five point run and continued to put together short scoring spurts to take the second set 25-17.
The third set played out the same as the second with both teams trading pionts in the early portion before Johnson & Wales put together started to string the points together. The Eagles rallied and challenged the Wildcats but JWU was able to hold on to take the 25-23.
Buker, Buted and Francis Berrios-Hernandez (Carolina, Puerto Rico) each had nine kills for Johnson & Wales. Berrios-Hernandez lead the Wildcats with a .529 attack percentage and Chase Squires (Clarence Center, N.Y.) had a game high 32 digs.
The Wildcats will host UC Merced on Sunday at 1pm in the Wildcat Center.