Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Elms College women's volleyball fell to host eighth-ranked Johnson & Wales (RI), 3-0 (25-10, 25-10, 25-12), in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Providence Regional Championship at the Wildcat Center Friday night.
In the first set, the Blazers got on the scoreboard with a kill from Elms junior Rachel Magnuson (Miller Place, N.Y.), but JWU sophomore Maria Coniglio (Old Bethpage, N.Y.) logged a trio of kills to hand the Wildcats a 9-3 advantage. Elms used a kill from junior Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, N.V.) and an ace from freshman Hannah Pichardo (South Glen Falls, N.Y.) to whittle the gap to 12-7, but Johnson & Wales regained control with a 5-1 run to harness an 18-8 lead. Wildcat sophomore Kate Walker (Oakland, Calif.) added two kills down the stretch to help Johnson & Wales to the 25-10 win.
The Wildcats jumped to a 10-1 lead in the second set behind three kills from freshman Hannah Dolan (San Clemente, Calif.) and a pair of aces from sophomore Brylee Frank (Palm City, Fla.). Trailing 14-2, the Blazers worked at the gap with a trio of kills from Redding to make it 16-6. Redding and Magnuson delivered back-to-back kills, and then senior Kate Moriarty (Agawam, Mass.) added a strike to trim the gap to 22-10, but the Wildcats wrapped up the 25-10 win with tallies from Dolan and freshman Gabby Scudder (Ashburn, Va.).
Elms held a 2-1 lead in the third set following a slam from Redding, but Johnson & Wales used kills from freshman Bella Oldham (Irvine, Calif.) and sophomore Elizabeth Hamilton (Canton, Mass.) to build a 4-2 advantage. Strikes from Redding and freshman Dakota Stewart (Victoria, Texas) kept Elms close, 6-4, but a 7-1 run, featuring a pair of kills from Hamilton and Dolan, created a 13-5 gap. Stewart delivered a pair of dump kills, followed by a tally from Redding, as Elms closed the lead to 14-10, but the Wildcats pulled away with a 7-1 run to finish off the 25-12 win.
Redding paced the Blazers attack with a team-high 10 kills and eight digs. Stewart dished out 11 assists with three kills, while Magnuson added two kills.
Dolan led the way for Johnson & Wales, logging a team-high 11 kills on 13 attempts. Hamilton chipped in eight kills, while Walker contributed six kills. Freshman Kelly Delaney (Calais, Maine) and Coniglio added five kills apiece, while Coniglio snared a team-high nine digs. Frank totaled a match-high 32 assists in the win.
The Blazers wrap the program's most successful season with a 19-10 record and the program's first appearance in the NCAA Division Regional Championship. Johnson & Wales (33-0) advances to the Providence Regional Semifinal Saturday afternoon.