The University of Connecticut women’s volleyball team traveled to Dartmouth University over the weekend for the annual Dartmouth Invitational, where they won two out of three matches and improved their non-conference record of the year to 5-4.
UConn started its weekend Friday with a match against Holy Cross, winning three sets to one. Senior Caylee Parker and junior Jasmine Davis each recorded double-doubles in the match, with Davis leading the team in digs with 18. Taylor Pannell led the team with .400 hitting percentage, while also recording nine kills and a team high five blocks.
UConn jumped out to an early 2-0 start, including a dominant second set in which Holy Cross was only able to muster a .087 hitting percentage. However, the Crusaders won the third set, scoring 11 points on errors from the Huskies. The final set was a back-and-forth battle, as both teams refused to give ground. However, UConn was able to pull away in the second half of the match and secured the victory behind an ace from graduate student McKayla Wuensch.
The Huskies continued on Saturday with a 1 p.m. match against New Hampshire, which they won handily three sets to none. Davis led the way for the Huskies on the attacking end, notching a team high 11 kills and 3 aces, while Wuensch set up her teammates with precision, recording 35 assists in the match. UConn was in control of the first set, with multiple 4-0 runs being the difference maker.
The second set was much more tightly contested, with UConn overcoming a four-point New Hampshire lead early and taking advantage of late mistakes by the Wildcats to clinch a 25-20 victory. In the third and final set, the Huskies led the entire time and easily closed out the match with a 3-0 victory.
Finally, the Huskies took on Dartmouth in their third match to end the weekend. The Big Green would prove to be a difficult opponent, as UConn lost three sets to one. The first set was a battle, with both teams trading points before Dartmouth pulled out to a 22-17 lead. A spirited UConn comeback tied it up late, but it wasn’t enough as Dartmouth took the last two points to win the set.
The second set was very similar, as both teams were tied up late. But once again, Dartmouth was able to find its stride and took the last five points of the set to take a 2-0 lead. Facing defeat, the Huskies came out to an electric start in the third set when they took a 17-5 lead in the set before finishing the job — thanks to an excellent .423 hitting percentage.
The fourth set was an electrifying back and forth between both teams. Dartmouth took a 17-12 lead at the halfway point of the set, but another UConn comeback tied it at 22. The back-and-forth would continue as neither team could take a definitive lead, but ultimately Dartmouth was able to take two straight points and win the set 27-25.
Following the weekend, UConn is now 5-4 in non-conference play and eighth in the Big East Conference with one weekend left before conference play begins. The Huskies will return to Storrs this weekend and host Bryant, NJIT and Yale in the Dog Pound Challenge.