Volleyball: Huskies look solid in UConn Challenge

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The Huskies sit at 5-2 after two wins this weekend in the ‘UConn Challenge’. (Judah Shingleton/The Daily Campus)

UConn won the first two games of the tournament they hosted this Labor Day weekend against New Hampshire and Iona, before falling to Syracuse on Saturday afternoon. The Huskies’ record currently sits at 5-2, as they’ve racked up seven games played in the first week of the new season.

UConn’s first opponent of the weekend was New Hampshire. The Huskies ultimately came away with a 3-1 victory; however, each set proved to be very tightly contested. UConn narrowly escaped the fourth and final set with a 25-23 score. Senior leader Emma Turner, as she has in every match so far, led the Huskies in assists with 44. Turner also added 18 digs, as she has displayed her dynamic skill set game in and game out. Offensively for the Huskies, Iman McGary led the way with 15 kills to go along with 2 aces.

In the Friday nightcap, the Huskies squared off with Iona. They nearly pulled off the 3-0 victory, yet Iona was able to stand their ground in the third set. The first and second sets were back and forth, with the second set ending with both teams playing with their backs against the wall. At one point, UConn led 22-20 causing Iona to call a timeout. Iona then came out hot and recaptured the lead 23-22, forcing a UConn timeout. Whatever was said during that next timeout proved to be effective for the Huskies, as they scored the last three points to win the set 25-23. Although UConn fell 26-24 in the third set, the team was able to refocus for the fourth set. They started off with a quick 7-2 lead and never looked back, finishing with a commanding 25-14 victory. Caylee Parker and Isabelle Peterson sparked the offense for the Huskies, finishing with 16 kills and 12 kills, respectively. Peterson also contributed defensively, totaling six blocks. In the assists department, it was more of the same for UConn with Turner, recording a game-high 46 assists. Other notable players included Elizabeth Kline, who contributed with 17 digs, and Ally Barrett, chipping in with two aces.

Although UConn was unable to finish off the tournament sweep against former Big East rival Syracuse, it was a noteworthy effort, as the Huskies had a 2-0 advantage on the Orange then went on to drop three straight sets. UConn was led by Parker and Turner again, with Parker posting 18 kills and Turner recording 51 assists and 11 digs. Other standout players include Anna Petrova, who had 16 kills, and Genna Florig, who totaled eight blocks. Florig has led the Huskies in blocks in five out of the seven games so far this year. The 6-foot-1 redshirt sophomore uses her size effectively as she piles up her block total for the season.   

The Huskies will travel to Chicago this coming weekend for a three-game tournament.


Sam Newton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at samuel.newton@uconn.edu.  

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