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JWU Women’s Volleyball Earns First National Ranking at #20 in AVCA Poll


Courtesy of JWU Athletics Communications

LEXINGTON, Ky. – An undefeated record and a victory over a top 20 opponent have put the Johnson & Wales University women's volleyball team on the map. For the first time in school history, the Wildcats find themselves nationally ranked as they debut at No. 20 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Poll.

Johnson & Wales – one of four remaining undefeated teams in the country – made a statement on Friday when it swept 14th-ranked MIT. The Wildcats are currently 16-0 and 5-0 in the GNAC.

The women's volleyball team joins the JWU wrestling and men's basketball programs as the only ones to earn a national ranking. Last season the wrestling team climbed as high as third while men's basketball peaked at No. 12 during the 2015-16 campaign.

The Wildcats have dominated teams this season, losing only one set. After sweeping Norwich on Saturday, JWU has won 42-consecutive sets, the 10th-best streak in NCAA history. The Wildcats have won 29-straight home matches, which ranks 15th in NCAA lore. 

Topped by Kate Walker's .480 hitting percentage – which leads NCAA Division III and is fifth for all divisions – Johnson & Wales is the top hitting team in the country at .335 percent. The Wildcats are also in the top 10 nationally for kills per set (third), assists per set (fourth) and opponent hitting percentage (sixth).

JWU takes the court for the first time as a top 25 team on Wednesday when it travels to the University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) for a 7:00 p.m. contest.