Johnson & Wales closed out the last big roadtrip of the regular season on Saturday at Rocky Mountain College with a pair of matches against #17 Carroll College and host Rocky Mountain College.
In the opening match, the ranked Saints stormed out to a 17-5 early lead putting the set out of reach of JWU who fell 10-25. In the second set, the 'Cats broke up a 6-6 tie to go up to points on the Saints. JWU continued to hold off small surges by Carroll College and took the opening set 25-23.
In the third set, the Saints rallied from a 11-13 deficit to tie the set 18-18. JWU went up 21-19 but the #17 Saints closed out the set on a 6-0 run to ake the third set 25-21. The fourth set saw the Saints storm out to a 10-3 advantage. Johnson & Wales broke up scoring runs by the Saints but their early lead allowed them to take the 25-9 win and the 3-1 match victory.
In the evening match, Johnson & Wales took on Rocky Mountain College. The Wildcats stormed out to an 8-3 lead but the Bears battled back to tie the set 8-8. Johnson & Wales extended their lead to 18-15 and kept going on their way toa 25-21 win. In the second set the Wildcats held small advantages that the Bears kept trying to rally back to. Late in the set the Wildcats and Bears traded points before the Wildcats captured the 25-20 win.
In the third set, the Bears jumped out to a 15-7 lead. JWU chipped away but a 7-0 run by RMC allowed them to take the 25-12 win. In the fourth set, the Bears held the 11-7 lead but Johnson & Wales cut the lead down to 18-16. The Bears went on a 4-0 run to re-establish their advantage but Johnson & Wales came back with a 7-1 run to tie the set 24-24. The Bears held off JWU for the last two points to take the 26-24 win and force a fifth set.
In the fifth, JWU held the early 5-4 lead but RMC came back to hold the 9-5 advantage. JWU added three quick points to come within a point but the Bears added four straight to put the set out of reach as the 'Cats fell 10-15.
Kelley McLain (Simi Valley, Calif.) had a season high 23 kills and hit .232 in the match. Sierra Joyner (Oxnard, Calif.) had a career high 51 digs. Her 51 digs are the second most in the NAIA this season and a program record.
The Wildcats will return home for their Homecoming match on Saturday, October 22 at 2pm and close out their regular season on October 28 at Colorado College.