'Cats stumble at Cougar Classic

'Cats stumble at Cougar Classic

Johnson & Wales took part in the 2016 Cougar Classic hosted by Cal State San Marcos on Friday. 

In the first match of the day, the Wildcats took on Fort Lewis College. The Skyhawks opened up a 10-1 run to set the tone of the match. The 'Cats tried to put together a scoring run but Fort Lewis had built enough of a lead to take a 25-10 win. The second set had Johnson & Wales rebound offensively and take a 10-6 lead. Fort Lewis chipped away and came back to take a 13-12 lead. The sides traded points before FLC broke up a 22-22 tie and closed out the set on a 3-0 run for the 25-22 victory.

The final set had the Skyhawks jump out to a 12-5 lead and not look back. Johnson & Wales made some inroads but the early advantage was enough to propel Fort Lewis to the 25-13 win and the 3-0 sweep.

Brittney Mukhar (Lancaster, Calif.) notched 10 kills and hit .333 in the match. Emily Gazaway (Louisville, Colo.) had 14 assists for JWU and Sierra Joyner (Oxnard, Calif.) finished with 15 digs.

The second contest of the day saw Johnson & Wales take on host Cal State San Marcos. In the opening set the two teams traded points before the Cougars went on a five point run a take the 13-7 lead. JWU rallied to cut the deficit to 14-16 but it was short-lived as CSUSM added four more to lead 20-14. The Cougars finished the match on a 5-4 run to take the 25-18 win. In the second set the Wildcats stalled offensively after trailing 7-8, allowing Cal State San Marcos to jump out to a 18-10 lead. The Cougars held off a late push by JWU to take a 25-16 win.

Johnson & Wales led early in the third set holding the 6-2 advantage. The Cougars came back to tie the set 9-9 and then went up 14-11 on JWU. Both teams traded short scoring runs to take the third set to a 21-21 draw. The Cougars went ahead 22-21 and didn't look back, taking the 25-21 win.

Kelley McLain (Simi Valley, Calif.) had a team high six kills for Johnson & Wales while Gazaway finished with 12 assists. 

JWU will take on Sonoma State and #16 Westmont on Saturday in day two of action at the Cougar Classic.