BOSTON, Mass. – Johnson & Wales University posted a convincing 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-21) victory over host Emmanuel College Thursday evening in Great Northeast Athletic Conference women's volleyball action at the Jean Yawkey Center Gymnasium. Both teams entered the contest undefeated in conference play and with the win the Wildcats improve to a perfect 6-0 mark in the GNAC and 22-0 overall on the year while the loss dips the Saints to 10-13 and 6-1 in the GNAC.
JWU got off to a strong start in the opening set behind the play of sophomore middle Emily Kalmink (Byron Center, Mich.) and freshman outside hitter Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.). Kalmink slammed home six kills on six attempts for a 1.000 hitting percentage while Coniglio added five kills in the frame as the Wildcats cruised to a 25-12 win.
The visitors stayed hot in the second set as Coniglio connected on five more kills to go along with two aces in the stanza. Emmanuel seniors Cassie Chruscielski (Duluth, Minn.) and Kaitlyn Atkinson (Brookline, N.H.) tried to rally the Saints with three kills each in the set but it wasn't enough as JWU picked up a 25-18 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Emmanuel fought to extend the match in the third set, leading 18-16 before the Wildcats reeled off five consecutive points to take back the momentum en route to the 25-21 win for the sweep.
Johnson & Wales, who received 22 votes in the most recent AVCA National Coaches' Poll, is one of only three NCAA Division III programs that remains undefeated at this point during the 2016 season. During their 22-game win streak, the Wildcats have dropped only one set which came against GNAC foe Rivier University on Sept. 21.
Kalmink and Coniglio each finished with 13 kills in the win to pace JWU. Freshman setter Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.) dished out 30 assists while freshmen Elizabeth Hamilton and Gianna Esposito (Larkspur, Calif.) combined for 23 digs.
For the Saints, Chruscielski finished with a team-high six kills while sophomore Mary Shelow (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Marissa Cataldo (Melrose, Mass.) added five kills each. Sophomore setter Carly Church (Higganum, Conn.) collected 14 helpers while senior libero Sarah Schemerhorn (Los Angeles, Calif.) tallied 12 digs.
Emmanuel returns to action on Saturday, October 15 for a tri-match at Lasell College. The Saints take on the Lasers in a GNAC tilt at 11:00 AM before squaring off against Framingham State at 1:00 PM in non-conference action. Johnson & Wales heads to Saint Joseph's (ME) the same day for a GNAC tri against the host Monks and Mount Ida College.