This week, the University of Connecticut volleyball team will conclude their regular season in a series of home games.
The team, which has already qualified for the Big East Championship with a win over St. John’s last weekend, will face Butler and Xavier on Thursday and Friday, respectively, in its n effort to end the regular season on a high note going into the postseason next week.
The Huskies have been very good this year; they’re currently sitting at 20-8 with a 12-4 Big East record, which places them third behind Creighton (last year’s winner) and Marquette, (last year’s runner-up). This is UConn’s first time getting 12 wins in the Big East, and that conference win total is their highest in over a decade. Most recently, UConn suffered a 1-3 defeat to Seton Hall on Saturday, marking the end of a six-game win streak and potentially a shift in momentum against the Huskies.
The team has excelled on the back of many players, including Caylee Parker, who is currently on a dominant end-of-the-season run. Parker won Big East Offensive Player of the Week for both of the last two weeks, bringing her total awards to three this season. She averaged 4.33 kills per set over the weekend, and got her ninth double-double of the season in UConn’s comeback victory over St. John’s.
The Huskies’ first game of the weekend is on Thursday, as they’ll take on Butler. The Bulldogs are currently sitting at 14-15, 8-8 in the Big East, following losses to both Marquette and DePaul last weekend, and they are hoping to perform better this time against the Huskies and then Xavier. Butler has struggled towards the tail end of the season; it is currently on a three-game losing streak and has lost four of its last five.
When UConn and Butler faced off a few weeks ago at the end of October, UConn claimed a 3-0 win. Now, Butler is looking to turn the tables on the Huskies and end its season on a high note by pushing its overall record to above .500.
Xavier, on the other hand, has had a difficult season in general. They’re sitting at 11-16, 6-10 in the Big East, they’re currently on a two-game losing streak and they’ve lost eight of their last nine games. The Musketeers’ only win during that period came against Providence, who is tied for last in the Big East with a 3-13 conference record.
They’re facing the Huskies, who have won 12 of 14 at home, with their only two losses coming back in September to Rutgers and in October to Marquette. It’s not looking good for Xavier who, like Butler, has already been eliminated from the postseason and isjust hoping to end this season on a high note.
UConn vs. Butler will start at 1 p.m. Thursday at Gampel Pavilion. The second series, UConn vs. Xavier, will take place at 7 p.m. Friday. After this week, the Huskies won’t play again until they go to the Big East Championship at the end of the month.
Cover photo courtesy: UConn Volleyball via Instagram