Virginia Beach, VA - Johnson & Wales advanced to their second consecutive USCAA Division II Volleyball National Championship game with a 3-1 win over Cincinnati-Clermont on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats (22-8), runners-up in Pool A, defeated the Cougars (29-7) 25-21, 23-25, 25-23, and 25-14.
Clermont raced out to a 9-3 lead in the first set paced by Zoe England's two kills. JWU responded with a 16-7 run to take a 19-16 lead. Demya Scott's five kills in that stretch keyed the run. Clermont would get as close as 1 point at 22-21, but a kill and an ace from Iyana Favor helped push the Wildcats to the first set win.
JWU built a five point advantage at 13-8 to open set 2, before Clermont responded with a 13-7 spurt to take the lead at 21-20. Kills from Taylor Ross, Grace Howard, and Zoe England allowed the Cougars to finish off the set with a two point victory.
The third set was a back and forth affair, as neither team led by more than two points until late in the stanza. With the score tied at 21, Johnson & Wales got consecutive kills from Iyana Favor, Toniya Scott, and Demya Scott to put JWU on the brink of the set victory. Those three would combine for 11 kills in the set, which the Wildcats claimed after a Cougar service error on set point.
Johnson & Wales jumped out to an 8-4 lead in the fourth, as Clermont stumbled to three attack errors during that stretch. The Cougars hung around for a few more points before a 5-1 run pushed the Wildcat lead to 18-10. Toniya Scott had two of her match-high 17 kills in that run. JWU paired two Emily Arends service aces with three Clermont attack errors to finish off the set, and ultimately the match.
Toniya Scott added 5 digs and 4 total blocks to her 16 kills. Demya Scott and Iyana Favor combined for 20 kills, as JWU hit .232 for the match. Moana Reid dished out 40 assists, had 7 kills, and tied Demya Scott for the team lead in digs with 17. Arends and Lynasia Felder added 9 digs apiece.
Johnson & Wales will take on Penn State-Fayette on Saturday at 1:00pm at the Virginia Beach Fieldhouse.