'Cats fall to Eagles in five, sweep Panthers

'Cats fall to Eagles in five, sweep Panthers

Johnson & Wales wrapped up the 2016 Wildcat Fall Classic on Saturday, hosting Avila University and York College for the second straight day.

In the first match of the day, JWU took on the Eagles of Avila University in a rematch of Friday night's Wildcat victory. Johnson & Wales set the tone early as they led 6-2 to start the match. The Eagles cut into the 'Cats advantage but JWU again went back up 19-12. Avila chipped away but the Wildcats ultimately took the set 25-21.

After a back and forth start to the second, the Wildcats jumped ahead 17-12. Avila rallied back to come within one point before JWU regrouped and took the second set 25-21. In the third set the Eagles led 10-5 but Johnson & Wales rallied to tie the set 10-10. Avila forged ahead to lead 18-11 as the momentum swiftly changed. The Eagles held off a late push by JWU to take the 25-18 win. In the fourth set the Eagles stormed out to a 11-6 lead and continued to push their way to a 25-15 win, forcing a fifth set.

In the fifth, the Eagles started the set with the momentum to jump out to a 6-2 lead. JWU clawed their way back to within two before Avila went back up 10-5. The Eagles held on to take the 15-8 win and the 3-2 match victory.

Erin Sosnowchik (Omaha, Neb.) led Johnson & Wales with 12 kills and Kelley McLain (Simi Valley, Calif.) added 11. Katie Malachinski (Stevensville, Mont.) had 4.5 blocks for JWU.

In the second match of the day, the 'Cats took on York College. After trading early points the two sides never allowed the other to put together much of a scoring run. JWU capitalized on a 5-2 run to lead 21-17. The 'Cats held on for the 25-23 win. In the second set, the Panthers led 6-4 before Johnson & Wales ran the score up to a 17-10 lead. York tried to make the comeback but the Wildcats held them off for the 25-16 win.

JWU began the third on a 6-2 run but the Panthers clawed their way back in to cut the 'Cats lead to one point. JWU retook the lead and kept their defense going for a 25-21 win to sweep the Panthers in three set.

Sosnowchik had 11 kills for Johnson & Wales and hit .429 in the match. Hannah Christianson (Grass Valley, Calif.) and Cassandra Lacanilao (Oxnard, Calif.) came up big defensively for JWU with 19 and 18 digs respectively.

Johnson & Wales will stay at home next weekend when they host their Mile High City Classic.