The Huskies won two out of three games at the Tiger Classic over the weekend as they start the season 4-1 for the first time in eight years. The first match of the tournament for UConn pitted them up against host LSU, as the Huskies had no probably dispatching them in straight sets.
By scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-19, the Huskies started the season on a three game winning streak. Against LSU, UConn did not trail once at any point in the three sets as they lead by at least six points in all three sets. Leading the way in the first match was junior Kenya Cason who posted her third straight game with double-digit kills (10). Also, having dominating performances, junior Tosin Adeniyi, who had five blocks, and sophomores Emma Turner and Kennedy Arundel who had 22 assists and 17 digs, respectively.
In the second match of the doubleheader, UConn squared off against the Golden Eagles from Southern Miss. The Huskies were able to generate a lot of offense and push every set to the brink of tiebreak but ultimately fell to Southern Miss by scores of 21-25, 22-25 and 20-25. UConn in the third set posted a match-high .429 hitting percentage but were unable to outplay the Golden Eagles who were led by Stephany Purdue who accumulated a game-high 15 kills. For the Huskies, senior Jade Strawberry and redshirt-freshman Kayla Williams had team-high 11 kills as Turner posted a team-high 19 assists.
To finish the tournament, UConn played the Virginia Cavaliers, as the Huskies were able to put the loss behind them and wallop them in straight sets. The second set of the match was the defining set of the season so far as UConn started on an 11-1 run and finished on a 10-1 run as they easily won by 18 points. The Huskies won by scores of 25-19, 25-7 and 25-23 as Williams had a game-high 13 kills and Turner had a game-high 24 assists. As a result of their fine performances over the course of the Tiger Classic, senior Hayley Cmajdalka and Kayla Williams were named to the All-Tournament team.
UConn will next return to action on the 9th, as they will host the second annual Dog Pound Challenge. The Huskies will square up against Loyola Maryland, Yale and St. Francis Brooklyn, as they will try to repeat last year’s performance where they won all three games and only dropped one set.
Matt Kren is a staff writer for The Daily Campus, covering UConn volleyball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.