UConn’s volleyball team has undergone some massive changes over the past few months, including some that will have major implications for their 2019 season.
The Huskies head coach for the past five years, Kris Grunwald, resigned and took a new assistant coaching job at Auburn University. Ellen Kimball, who was an assistant coach last season, will become the interim head coach for the 2019 season. Kimball played volleyball at the collegiate and professional level before joining UConn’s staff in 2014. The new leader of the Huskies has received nothing but praise thus far from the University and her staff, and there is a lot to look forward to during her first season at the helm.
UConn lost some very key players from last season’s team including Emma Turner, Elizabeth Kline and Danielle Cabel. Turner finished her tenure at UConn ranked third all-time at the University in assists and fourth all-time in sets played, Kline finished tenth all-time in digs for one season and Cabel was a consistent force on the offensive end for the Huskies even after the injury she faced during her senior year. These graduated seniors leave some big shoes for the incoming class to fill, but both the new and returning Huskies have a bright future of their own with the program.
Caylee Parker returns for her sophomore season after leading the team in total kills last year. The freshman phenom ranked eighth all-time for the Huskies in kills during her freshman season and earned All-Conference first-team honors. Now with an offseason under her belt, Parker will continue to grow and improve as the leader of the Huskies offense. Other notable Huskies returning are right side hitter Kennadie Jake-Turner, outside hitter Anna Petrova and middle blocker Genna Florig who all had strong seasons of their own last year. UConn also added five new freshmen and one transfer student, covering each position, in hopes to fill some of the gaps left by last year’s senior class.
The Huskies are eager to step back on the court after their 15-16 record last season, and while they may have a bit of a transition year in 2019, they have laid the foundation for what should be a very successful program within the next couple seasons. Regardless of their final record, it will be an exciting year for UConn volleyball.
The Huskies have their first exhibition match of the season against the University of Rhode Island this Saturday, August 24 at 1 p.m. in Gampel Pavilion.
Conner Gilson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.