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Wildcats fall in conference semifinals

Wildcats fall in conference semifinals

The Wildcats continued postseason action on Saturday in the A.I.I. Championship semifinals. JWU took on Haskell Indian Nations Univeristy.

The 'Cats came out firing in the first set opening a quick 9-2 advantage. HINU chipped away but the Wildcats had the momentum to power their way to a 25-15 win. In the second set the two teams battled back and forth with JWU holding the 10-9 lead. Haskell rattled off a four point run to go up 13-10 on the 'Cats. JWU broke up the scoring runs but the Indians had two more small runs to build the distance for a 25-17 win.

In the third set, the Indians broke open a back and forth contest to go up 10-3 on Johnson & Wales. The Indians looked to have the momentum as they led 15-10, but the 'Cats quickly rallied to tie the set 15-15. The teams again went back and forth with JWU hold the late 24-23 lead. HINU came back to score three straight points for the 26-24 win.

In the fourth, JWU had a 7-5 lead before HINU added five consecutive points to lead 10-7. Each team had small scoring runs to look to build the momentum. The Indians broke up a 21-21 tie with a 4-1 run to take the final set 25-22 and advance to the A.I.I. Championship match against College of the Ozarks.

Danielle Giannini (Morrison, Colo.) led Johnson & Wales with .381 attacking and Brittney Mukhar (Lancaster, Calif.) had 11 kills for the Wildcats. Senior Kelley McLain (Simi Valley, Calif.) added seven kills to finish her Wildcat career with 1,367 kills. She wraps up her time in a JWU uniform with the program record for career kills.

Both McLain and Mukhar were named to the 2016 A.I.I. All-Tournament team based on their performance throughout the Championship.