UConn volleyball was led by a 16 kill game by Iman McGary, snapping a five-loss streak in a three-set win against Memphis Sunday. Sophomore McGary would set a career high for kills in the straight set victory recording a .314 hitting percentage in addition to five digs and two assists.
UConn (14-9, 5-7 American Athletic Conference) completed their sweep against Memphis (11-13, 3-9 American Athletic Conference) with 52 team kills and 51 assists to the Tigers’ 36 kills and 33 assists. UConn would win the first set 25-19 before falling behind 17-10 in the second set. The Huskies would rally to win the second set 27-25 and build a considerable lead of 11-1 to start the third set. Despite a similar comeback from Memphis to bring the game close at 24-23, a block by junior Danielle Cabel would complete the sweep for UConn. Redshirt freshman Kayla Williams aided McGary offensively with 14 kills, a .216 hitting percentage and a career high 18 digs. The two combined for 57 percent of the Huskies kills.
UConn Head Coach Kris Grunwald praised sophomore Iman McGary’s performance following the match. “She’s been kind of on spot detail, I think this is only her third time on the floor this year…. she probably had the match of her career thus far as a Husky which is great to see,” Grunwald said.
This would be Memphis’ ninth loss in American Athletic Conference play after winning their previous three consecutively. The Tigers failed to have a single player record 10 kills in the game, with McKenzie Hayes and Tai Bierria contributing nine each and Caitlin Lilly sending in seven. Faith Myers and Regan Comperry would co-lead in assists with 14 a piece, and Mady Ruhlman led in digs with 13.
Memphis failed to connect with the ball, with a .000 hitting percentage in the first set, .260 in the second, and .132 in the third. Caitlin Lilly led those with above 15 attempts, with a .208 hitting percentage in the game. McKenzie Hayes hit 16.7 percent on 30 attempts while Tai Bierria hit 12.5 percent on 32 attempts. Meanwhile, UConn never hit below 20 percent the entire game, hitting .250 in the first, .241 in the second, and .211 in the third. Iman McGary would register a .314 hitting percentage on 35 attempts while Kayla Williams would record a .216 percentage on 37 kills.
Grunwald commented on the end of his team’s losing streak, saying, “Obviously the emotional side of things when you lose a couple in a row, it’s tough to keep the momentum up but I think we did a real good job coming out and playing our game rather than waiting to see what was going to happen.”
UConn hopes to follow up with another win as they travel to New Orleans Friday to take on Tulane. Tulane currently sits equal to UConn in the American standings with a 5-7 conference record and hopes to win their home game of the series after losing 3-1 in Gampel in late September.
Joe Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.