This weekend, the UConn women’s volleyball team took two more losses on the road at Memphis and SMU. While the Friday match in Memphis went to five sets, SMU swept the Sunday match. Coming off of three 0-3 losses at home against Tulane, Cincinnati and ECU, the Huskies have now lost the past five games in a row, giving them a record of 2-6 in the American Athletic Conference at the halfway point of the regular conference season.
A close match was in store between UConn (8-12, 2-6 The American) and the Memphis Tigers (13-7, 2-6 The American) when they met in the Bluff City on Friday night.
The Huskies started the match on the high ground, taking the first set 25-17 with an impressive match-high hitting percentage of .484. The next three sets were back and forth victories between the competitors and no set had a final point gap of more than four. Set 5 was just as close as those leading up to it, but Memphis stayed ahead for the win.
Memphis dominated the match in terms of blocks, assists and kills. UConn’s sophomore outside hitter Caylee Parker set the match high in kills with 23 on top of a notable 16 digs and two service aces. The Huskies fell short of their usual number of successful blocks (avg. 2.1 per set), which left a gap in defense for the Tigers to gain more kills.
The Huskies traveled south to Dallas to take on the SMU Mustangs (13-5, 6-2 The American). The match began with a weak set for the Huskies, who trailed in the dust of the Mustangs for a final point deficit of fifteen.
In the first set, UConn was only able to attain four kills, earning a hitting percentage of -.033, its lowest for the weekend. SMU was also victorious in the second and third sets, but this time by a smaller margin. In Set 2, UConn worked for a final score of 21-25. The Huskies put up their strongest fight of the match in Set 3 as they pushed the final score past 25 and had a set hitting percentage of .378, higher than that of the Mustangs.
While SMU controlled the court in other techniques, UConn’s strongest suit against SMU was blocking, led by redshirt sophomore setter Courtney Morris and sophomore middle blocker and right side hitter Kennadie Jake-Turner. Freshman libero Mia Ruffolo stood out on the court, adding 12 digs and three assists to her record.
UConn has eight remaining conference matches before The American Athletic Conference Tournament on Nov. 22. The Huskies return to Gampel Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 25 to battle the Wichita State Shockers and attempt to change the course their conference season has taken for the past five matches.
Judah Shingleton is a campus correspondent and senior staff photographer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @ByJudah.