The Wildcats continued the 2016 Wildcat Classic on Friday with a pair of matches against York College and Avila University.
In the first match of the day, JWU hosted York College in a four set contest. In the first set the 'Cats relied on late set run to jump ahead 19-13 on their way to a 25-16 victory. In the second set JWU capitalized on a pair of 5-0 scoring runs to lead 16-11 midway through but the Panthers rallied to tie the contest 16-16. The teams traded points but York eventually pulled away with the 25-23 win.
In the third set JWU regained their momentum and forged ahead to a 25-18 set victory to lead the match 2-1. JWU hit .364 in the third set and collected 13 kills. In the fourth set the Panthers led 11-7 before Johnson & Wales cut it down to a one point deficit. York College again went out front 16-12 but JWU came back to tie the set 16-16. After the Panthers led late 19-17, JWU went on a 7-0 run to setup match point. The Panthers erased their first attempt but JWU got them on the next rally to take the final set 25-20.
Kelley McLain (Simi Valley, Calif.) had another great offensive match with 16 kills and hit .433 in the match. Katie Malachinski (Stevensville, Mont.) hit .571 with 13 kills and had two blocks. Ashlee Ruehs (Phoenix, Ariz.) had 24 assists for JWU in the win.
The second match of the day had JWU take on Avila University. The Eagles led early in the first set and continued to hold the 15-10 lead midway through the set. The teams traded points before JWU tied the contest at 24-24. The 'Cats were able to put them away to take the 26-24 win.
Avila again led early in the second set but the Wildcats rallied to bring the set to one point. The 'Cats followed the rally with a 4-0 run to go ahead 15-14. Back and forth continued but Johnson & Wales held on for the 25-23 win and take the 2-0 lead.
Johnson & Wales led 6-1 in the third to set the tone of the final set. The Eagles tried to chip away at the 'Cats lead but Johnson & Wales kept the momentum going on their way to the 25-12 win and 3-0 sweep.
McLain led both teams with 15 kills and hit .500 in the match. Hannah Christianson (Grass Valley, Calif.) had 14 digs for Johnson & Wales and Malachinski had 3.5 blocks.
The Wildcats will wrap up the weekend on Saturday when they take on Avila and York again at 12pm and 6pm.