Volleyball: UConn suffers two heartbreakers at home

It was a tough two-loss weekend in Storrs for the UConn volleyball team (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

The UConn volleyball team (10-12, 3-7AAC) lost a pair of heartbreakers this past weekend against conference foes SMU and Tulsa.

On Friday, the Huskies faced SMU (14-7, 8-2 AAC) and lost to them in straight sets despite redshirt sophomore Kayla Williams recording her eleventh double-double of the season.

In the first set against SMU, the Mustangs garnered an early lead which they never relinquished. However, UConn never trailed by more than five points in the set. The Huskies lost the set 25-23.

The second set against SMU was much closer, with the score knotted 16 different times. However, at the end of the set, the Mustangs were able to muster enough power to go on a 5-3 run to seal the second set at 25-20.

In the third set, SMU was able to complete the sweep after scoring the last three points. Before that, UConn went on a five-point run to make the score 25-24 but the Mustangs pushed through to score three more points to seal the deal and win the set 27-25.

UConn’s head coach Kris Grunwald talked about what it was like going against SMU.

“I mean, SMU is second place in the conference,” Grunwald said. [They have] a couple of the best outside hitters in the conference, really up there. We knew what we were kind of coming against.”

On Sunday, UConn faced Tulsa (10-12, 4-6 AAC) and lost to them in straight sets. Williams recorded a double-double once again, making it her twelfth of the season.

In the first set, Tulsa jumped out with an early lead. The Huskies were only able to get the deficit within four points and ended up losing the set 25-20.

The second set saw Tulsa again jumping out with an early run. The Huskies were never able to garner enough points to take over the lead and lost the set 25-23.

We’re never coming out strong and playing up front so we’ve talked about our mindset, our preparation and talking about and being ready from the get-go and we just haven’t found that answer yet
— Head coach Kris Grunwald

The third set was much closer with the score tied five times. However, Tulsa went on 7-1 run from which the Huskies were never able to recover. UConn lost the set 25-18.

After the match against Tulsa, Grunwald talked about what it’s like trying to overcome a deficit, especially when the score is knotted.

“You look at the number of ties and unfortunately we’re always coming from behind in the tie,” Grunwald said. “We’re never coming out strong and playing up front so we’ve talked about our mindset, our preparation and talking about and being ready from the get-go and we just haven’t found that answer yet.”

The Huskies play next on Friday against Tulane at 7 p.m. in Guyer Gym.


Mariana Dominguez is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at mariana.dominguez@uconn.edu.