UConn Volleyball struggles against Cincinnati and East Carolina

Senior Hayley Cmaidalka and sophomore Emma Turner go to block the ball during their game against UCF Oct. 14, 2016.  Even though our girls tried their best, we still lose the game.  The girls lost again this Friday, Oct. 21 to Cincinnati University and again to East Carolina University.  The Huskies play their next match this Wednesday at Temple University at 5 p.m. in Philadelphia.  (Junbo Huang/The Daily Campus)

UConn women’s volleyball continued to struggle this weekend, losing to both Cincinnati and East Carolina in five sets. The losses set UConn back to the bottom half of the American Athletic Conference table, with the team’s 4-6 conference record dropping them from fourth to last in the conference standings. Currently, they are only ahead of Memphis (2-7), Tulsa (2-8) and Houston (0-10).

UConn came out hot to start the game against Cincinnati Friday evening, winning the first set 25-13. The Bearcats would catch their stride in the following sets, as the two teams traded the following sets (21-25, 25-23, 20-25). Cincinnati would score three in a row to win the second set while the Huskies would go on an 8-3 late in the third to take a 2-1 lead heading into the fourth. When Cincinnati won the fourth and pushed the final set, UConn was unable to stop the Bearcat’s strong momentum and quickly fell to 5-1 and 10-6 deficits before losing 15-11.

Redshirt freshman Kayla Williams would register her 10th double-double of the season in the loss, while Tosin Adeniyi and Danielle Cabel added 10 and 15 kills, respectively. Jordan Thompson dominated for Cincinnati, contributing 10 digs in addition to a monster 29 kills.

Against East Carolina University, the Huskies lost two close sets (24-26, 23-25) to start the game in a hole against the Pirates. Firing back, UConn looked poised to win when it won the third and fourth sets comfortably (25-19, 25-18). Despite the comeback and opening up the scoring in the fifth set, the Huskies would fall to a 3-8 deficit. The game ended in heartbreak, as UConn worked their way back to tie the game 13-13 before a Sabrina Gonzalez and Natalie Montini block defeated the Huskies 16-14.

Kayla Williams followed up the game on Friday with yet another double-double, with 14 kills and 13 digs. No other Huskies registered 10 kills in the game, however Rebecca Rivera did contribute 15 digs in addition to 25 assists.  Ashley McRae hit very well for the Pirates, boasting a .538 hitting percentage to go with 17 kills. I'Tiana Taylor provided 10 kills while Sabrina Gonzalez recorded 23 digs and 40 assists for ECU.

While UConn had more kills in the game (64-52), they had seven more attack errors than ECU and were outnumbered in blocks, only having nine to the Pirate’s 16.

UConn will face Temple, a team they lost to in a five-set match in late September, Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Huskies will need to push for a tough win if they hope to turn around a losing streak which has just extended to four in a row with their lost to ECU. If they are unable to beat Temple the second time, their next game against Memphis looks like their best chance to turn their record around. Memphis currently sits third from the bottom of the American, with a 3-7 conference record. However, the team has just won three in a row after losing their first seven conference games and will be looking to continue their win streak.


Joe Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joseph.burns@uconn.edu.