Charlotte, NC - Tuesday evening, the Lady Wildcats (8-3) (Ranked 9th in the USCAA Coaches Poll) put their four game win streak on the line against their neighbors from Johnson C. Smith University. The Golden Bulls fought hard, but ultimately JWU was able to win an exciting match, 3-1.
The Lady Wildcats began game one with strong all-around net play. This enabled JWU to build a lead in the game, but the Golden Bulls wouldn't go quietly, as they rallied to take the lead midway through the game. The Lady Wildcats eventually re-took the lead behind good serving from Stephanie Harris. JWU rode that momentum to the end of game one, taking it 25-21.
JWU committed many mistakes early in game two, which made way for the Golden Bulls to take the lead. Following a time out, the Lady Wildcats played much better improving on defensive, closing the gap on JCSU. Both teams would go back and forth through the latter portion of the game. Strong hitting by JCSU allowed them to take the lead again. JWU fought hard to the end, as this game went into extra points, but JCSU came out on top 27-25.
Early in game three, the Lady Wildcats went on a 3-0 run behind strong serving from Emily Kirchner. Both teams played well all-around, fortunatly JWU regained the lead after going on a 4-0 run. Never looking back, the Lady Wildcats continued their aggressive play winning the game 25-21.
The Golden Bulls opened game four with an early lead. JWU quickly responded with excellent play from the front line of Shanna Stewart, Moriah Hughes, and Madelyn Leonard. Hughes' dominating play at the net gave the Lady Wildcats a huge lift in what could be the final game. JWU took the lead for good at 7-6 cruising home from there. The Lady Wildcats won the final game of the match 25-16.
Kaitlin Kuntz had 45 assists and 15 digs. Kirchner followed Kuntz with 14 digs. Hughes led the team with 18 kills and Stewart with 16 kills.
Head Coach Callie Phillips was very pleased with her team's performance. "Definitely a team effort tonight, and that's the way we always want to win, by playing together. I particularly liked how aggressive our front row was and defense played hard as well." Assistant Coach Kathryn Thill added in, "It was an exciting win at home. It gave the girls a chance to fight at home."
The Lady Wildcats currently have a record of 8-3, winning five in a row, and eight of their last nine. The Lady Wildcats are next in action as they travel to Sumter, SC to take on the Hornets of Morris College on Friday, September 21st. Match time is set for 7pm.