Virginia Beach, VA - Johnson & Wales split their pool play matches on Thursday on the first day of the USCAA National Championship Tournament. Their pool play record was good enough to advance to elimination play beginning on Friday.
The Wildcats took on 6th seeded Great Bay Community College in their morning match. Johnson & Wales cruised in three sets, 25-14, 25-9, and 25-7. The Wildcats hit .422 as a team, and put down 31 kills, paced by 8 each from Toniya Scott and Taylor Walker. Moana Reid dished out 22 assists, while collecting 11 digs. Iyana Favor led the JWU with 12 digs.
Johnson & Wales then faced off with 3rd seeded Penn State-Fayette in the afternoon contest and fell in four sets. The Wildcats got off to a slow start in the first set, falling behind 11-1. They couldn't gain any traction from that point on, and eventually succumbed 25-15. The second set saw JWU sprint out to an 13-4 lead behind five kills from Walker. Fayette would not threaten in the remainder of the set, and JWU finished it off by a 25-15 count. The third stanza was more of a back-and-forth affair early, as the teams split the first twenty points of the period. Fayette then used a 6-0 spurt to move ahead, and eventually took the third by an identical 25-15 score. The fourth mirrored the third as the two teams found themselves tied at 15 after a back-and-forth first thirty points. Fayette then won seven of the next eight points to move ahead by six at 22-16. JWU closed the margin to two at 24-22, but Fayette won the final point to take the fourth set, and the match.
Toniya Scott paced the Wildcats with 13 kills, 10 digs and 5 blocks. Walker added 11 kills, and Iyana Favor had 9. Moana Reid handed out 33 assists, and tallied 14 digs. Riley Oros led JWU with 18 digs in the match.
Johnson & Wales will take on top seeded Cincinnati-Clermont in Friday's first semi-final at 2pm.