Volleyball: UConn looks to rebound from a tough last weekend in this year’s Dog Pound Challenge

The UConn Huskies Women's Volleyball Team plays against the Iona Gaels at Gampel Pavilion on August 31, 2018. The game resulted in a win for the Huskies. (Photo by Judah Shingleton)

The Huskies (6-4) will host three teams in the upcoming Dog Pound Challenge. On Friday they will face Holy Cross (1-9) at 12:30 PM , and Rutgers (5-5) at 7:00 PM. They will then face St. Johns (8-4) on Saturday at 1:00 PM in what will be the last weekend of non-conference play for the team.

“We have a lot of potential in this group,” UConn Coach Kris Grunwald said. ”Now we need to focus on sustaining that level of play for an entire match.”

A player who has shown loads of potential thus far in the season is freshman outside hitter Caylee Parker. Last week, in the DePaul Invitational, Parker totaled 49 kills and 25 digs in the tournament, including an impressive 26 kill, 15 dig performance against Purdue Fort Wayne.

“Coming in as a freshman you never know if they will be ready. Especially international players.” Coach Grunwald said, “ [Parker] has done a great job thus far in handling our primary outside hitting position and as she continues to learn and grow as a player we see a very bright future for her as a Husky.”

The first team that Parker and the Huskies will take on this weekend will be Holy Cross and their new star freshman, Regan Wright. Wright has played in eight games this season, totaling 60 kills and an impressive 95 digs. Wright has also tallied 23 service aces, including a season high six against UC Davis. She can perform on both ends, and will be the player to watch when the Huskies play the Crusaders.

UConn’s next match is against Rutgers on Friday night. The player to watch for the Scarlet Knights is senior outside hitter Sahbria McLetchie. McLetchie has been all over the court for Rutgers in her final season, recording 90 kills, 36 digs and 23 blocks in only eight matches, including her last game against Colgate where she put up 14 kills, 10 digs, and six blocks.

The Huskies final match of the Dog Pound Challenge will be against St. Johns, who have cooled off a bit after winning their first five games, losing three out of their last four before they face the Huskies. Their key player will be Junior Setter Erica Di Maulo. She has been the jack of all trades for the Red Storm, recording an insane 452 assists, 48 kills, 113 digs, and 22 total blocks in her 12 matches thus far. UConn will look to fight off her strong defensive and offensive capabilities in their last game of the weekend.

This will be an exciting weekend for the Huskies, as it is their last set of games before conference play starts. Make sure to come and support them at Gampel Pavilion on Friday at 12:30 and 7:00, and Saturday at 1:00.


Conner Gilson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at connor.gilson@uconn.edu.