On Saturday night, the UConn women’s volleyball team captured their first victory of the year over Duquesne in the final game of the Penn State Invitational. The Huskies came into the match following a three set defeat to Penn State on Friday night and were looking to bounce back. UConn jumped out to an early 7-1 lead, causing Duquesne to burn a timeout. The Dukes then came back and cut the deficit down to four. Before letting the match slip away, the Huskies regrouped and the upperclassmen took over. UConn went on to take set one 25-16 with the help of senior Allie Garland’s five kills.
UConn and Duquesne went back and forth the whole second set, keeping it close until freshman Emma Werkmeister entered the match. The freshman gave the Huskies a huge boost, coming in with three kills to give UConn the 26-24 set two victory. More upperclassman support came from senior Madi Whitmire, who consistently played well throughout, finishing the set with 11 assists.
In the third and final set the Huskies took an early lead. They were up 15-10, going on to win 25-16 after a hard fight. Senior Karly Berkland closed out the match with an ace.
A few standout performances come from Duquesne’s Carsyn Henschen, Ariel Helm, and Haling Poling. Henschen’s 11 kills were a career high and the most by any Duquesne player this season. Helm leads the team with 12 blocks and Poling paces the Dukes with 71 assists and 34 digs through three matches. Although Duquesne kept the match close, they had a low attack percentage of 171% while the Huskies had a 308% attack percentage. After this loss, the Dukes dropped to 0-3 on the season.
The points were spread across the board with a team total of 44 kills for UConn. Allie Garland finished the match with nine kills, Taylor Pannell, Emma Werkmeister, Kennadie Jake-Turner had seven, and Caylee Parker followed with six. Madi Whitmire completed the match with 35 assists, and senior Karly Berkland was strong on the defensive side with 15 digs.
While it is still early in the season with more games left, the Huskies currently sit in 8th place in the Big east. UConn will now prepare to head out to West Point for the Army Invitational where they’re poised to face St. Francis, Kansas and Army.