Volleyball: Huskies searching for wins in final stretch

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UConn’s Danielle Cabel goes vertical during a game against Memphis on Oct. 21, 2018. (Judah Shingleton/ The Daily Campus)

As UConn’s 2018 regular season comes down to three final games, the Huskies are hoping they can end a back-and-forth year on a positive note. With two inter-conference matchups against Tulsa and Wichita State, both of whom are ahead of UConn in The American standings, the Huskies want to prove they can compete with some of the better teams in their conference.

Tulsa (18-9, 10-5 The American) comes to town first, as Friday night’s showdown is the Huskies’ senior night. UConn’s roster includes five seniors who are graduating, notably setter Emma Turner, who enters the game with 3,346 total assists in her four-year career. Although Turner averaged more assists per set last season, her 9.10 mark this season will surely be missed next year and leave Head Coach Kris Grunwald searching for a replacement.

Despite Tulsa’s convincing record thus far, it’s lost two of its last three games and enter the night with a 4-5 record away from home. The Golden Hurricanes are good, but they’re beatable, and UConn is coming off two strong performances last weekend against Memphis and Tulane. The Huskies haven’t been anything special at home this season, currently just 6-7 in games played at Gampel, yet this would be a tremendous moment for the seniors if the Huskies are able to knock off the No. 4 team in the conference in front of their home fans.

The Head Coach for Tulsa is Ryan Wills, who’s in his fifth year at the helm. The Golden Hurricanes’ roster is comprised of mainly underclassmen with five freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors and two seniors.

UConn will get a day off before playing host to Wichita State (12-14, 7-8 The American) who’s lost six out of its last nine games. Of those six losses, two were to Houston, who the Huskies were victorious against back on Sept. 23.

Chris Lamb is in his 19th season as Head Coach for The Shockers. His roster includes a very young core, consisting of nine freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors, and two seniors. Although The Shockers are not where they’d like to be this season record-wise, they certainly have next season to look forward to with an abundance of likely returning players.

Wichita State is only one spot ahead of UConn in The American standings, making this a very winnable match for the Huskies, in what will be their second-to-last game at Gampel as well as the regular season. It is expected that the seniors will put forth maximum effort in the few games remaining in their careers, making this final home stretch for the Huskies an exciting one.


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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