'Cats drop pair on Saturday

'Cats drop pair on Saturday

Johnson & Wales closed out their first weekend of the season on Saturday with a pair of losses at the 2018 Oregon Trail Classic.

In the first match of the day, the 'Cats faced Whitworth University. The Pirates jumped out to a 7-2 lead to set the tone early. The 'Cats chipped away but WU continued to put together scoring runs to capture the 25-10 win. In the second set, the two sides traded points early before Whitworth started to find some momentum midway through. The Pirates went on a 4-0 run to start to build some distance before finishing on an 8-1 run to take the 25-12 victory. In the third, the 'Cats came out to a 3-0 lead and held a small advantage through much of the set. JWU led 18-10 before a late push by the Pirates allowed them to take the 23-19 lead. The 'Cats weren't able to put together their own run, falling 25-22.

Brooke Paxton (Greeley, Colo.) had nine kills for the Wildcats and Emmy Gazaway (Louisville, Colo.) added 14 assists.

The second match of the day saw the 'Cats take on Linfield College. The opening set went back and forth between the two squads with Linfield holding the 11-10 lead at the midpoint. A late run by Linfield allowed them to take the opening set 25-16. In the second, Linfield lead 5-0 early before the 'Cats got on the board. Linfield continued to control the tempo of the set, taking the 25-17 win. Johnson & Wales led early in the third, holding the 17-13 lead. Linfield battled back to take the lead and eventually the 25-21 win.

Paxton led the 'Cats with 10 kills and Ashlee Ruehs (Phoenix, Ariz.) added another seven. Gazaway had 22 assists for the Wildcats and Kaitlin Jones (LaSalle, Colo.) had 12 digs.

Johnson & Wales will return to Denver for their home opener on September 7 & 8 when they host the Spike It Up Classic. The 'Cats open their home slate against Pacific Lutheran on Friday at 12pm MT.