This weekend, the UConn women’s volleyball team defeated Temple 3-1 a second time at Gampel Pavilion on Friday before traveling to Texas for a 3-2 victory against Houston on Sunday.
Friday’s home match between Temple (11-14, 2-12 The American) and UConn (11-15, 5-9 The American) was similar to the first 2019 conference season match between the two. It resulted in a 3-1 victory for UConn in which the team was dominant on the court in total kills, blocks, assists and digs.
During the first set, UConn looked weak while the Owls’ hoots echoed through Gampel Pavilion. Ending Set 1 with a score of 16-25 and hitting percentage of -.053, the Huskies were motivated to flip the script in the remaining sets. They succeeded. While Set 2 was a close battle (25-23), Sets 3 and 4 left Temple more than ten points back each as UConn went on scoring streaks of up to nine points in a row. UConn’s final hitting percentage was .228 over Temple’s .126.
UConn also showed depth in its team as two usually key players were unable to make a strong presence in the match. Sophomore outside hitter Caylee Parker, who generally leads the team in kills and digs, was subbed out of the match early on. Redshirt junior middle blocker Genna Florig, a leader in blocks, suffered a collision in Set 1 and was subbed out.
UConn’s kills against Temple were led by sophomore middle blocker and rightside hitter Kennadie Jake-Turner. Freshman middle blocker Allie Garland led the team in blocks. Junior outside hitter Ally Barrett, freshman outside hitter Jasmine Davis and freshman libero Mia Ruffolo each made up a significant share of digs for UConn.
The Huskies had their sights on a what would be a tougher victory when they traveled to Texas to beat Houston (15-14, 9-5 The American). UConn took the first two sets by a minimal margin (25-23), but were suppressed in Sets 3 and 4, falling behind to final scores of 15 and 17. The match all came down to Set 5. The set began with the two teams neck-and-neck, but UConn pulled away to take the victory by a 3-point lead.
Despite the actual win, the Huskies scored a lower total number of points on Houston than the Cougars scored on them and had a lower hitting percentage (.153 to Houston’s 0.233). UConn had more digs, assists and kills throughout the match while Houston had more blocks and service aces.
With a career-high 22 kills and 18 digs in Houston (in addition to 10 kills and 11 digs on Friday), Davis was able to shine on the court this weekend. Other players who contributed to UConn’s dominance in kills on Sunday are sophomore outside hitter Anna Petrova (18) and Jake-Turner (14). Freshman setter Madi Whitmire brought a total of 48 assists to the team.
UConn will play out its last two American Athletic Conference regular season matches at Gampel Pavilion next weekend. The Thursday, Nov. 14 match against USF begins at 7 p.m. and the Saturday, Nov. 16 match begins 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.