This weekend, the UConn women’s volleyball team began November with two matches on the road, one against ECU and another against Cincinnati – two teams it had already faced within the past month. UConn, which had previously lost 0-3 to both teams, was defeated by them again. However, the first and second matchups were not identical and improvements were seen among the Huskies this weekend.
On Friday, Nov. 1, UConn (9-15, 3-9 American) went to Greenville, North Carolina to battle the ECU Pirates (18-8, 5-7 American). This match, like the one on Oct. 13, resulted in a 0-3 loss. Even though they ended up losing three sets in a row again, UConn gave a harder fight this time. Whereas the largest final point deficit for a set was 10 last month, it was only six this time, with the closest set being closer as well (25-23 ECU).
The match was hardly a sweep, despite the 0-3 final score. UConn and ECU had the same number of kills and assists, and UConn had more digs throughout the match. The strength that ECU had over UConn was in blocking, as the Pirates had 11 blocks over the Huskies’ four. UConn’s fatal flaw may have been its number of hitting errors. UConn had 28 attempted kills that resulted in error calls — nearly twice as many as ECU. This brought the team’s hitting percentage for the match down to 7.7%.
In Cincinnati, OH on Sunday, Nov. 3, UConn put up an impressive charge against the No. 1 team in the American Athletic Conference, the Cincinnati Bearcats (20-5, 11-1 American). While the Oct. 11 match was a 0-3 loss for the Huskies, Sunday’s match played to five sets. Cincinnati took Sets 1, 4 and 5 by an arm’s length while UConn pushed neck-and-neck against the Bearcats to secure Sets 2 and 3 by the minimum margin of two points.
Consistent with the two teams’ season statistics so far, the Huskies dominated the blocks in this match (10 to Cincinnati’s five) while falling short in terms of kills, service aces, assists and digs. In contrast to its even shorter match against ECU, UConn only had 14 total hitting errors at Cincinnati, feeding into the hitting percentage of 25.5%, a notable improvement from that of its last match against Cincinnati (15.5%). While Cincinnati had the better hitting percentage (32.5%), it was about the same as that of its last match against UConn (32.3%).
The highest number of total kills this weekend was achieved by freshman outside hitter Jasmine Davis. Davis had 22 kills and 24 digs this weekend, joining redshirt sophomore setter Courtney Morris in having the highest total of digs for the two matches. Morris also added 76 assists to her record this weekend. Redshirt junior middle blocker Genna Florig had 10 blocks, eight of which were against Cincinnati.
Although the weekend did not change the course of UConn’s conference season record, they revealed that the team has made noticeable strides over the course of a few weeks and does not let high-ranking teams simply walk over them. The Huskies have four remaining matches before the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The team carries its fighting spirit home on Friday, Nov. 8 to face Temple University at noon.
Judah Shingleton is a campus correspondent and senior staff photographer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.