Women’s Volleyball fall short at Black Knight Invitational  

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UConn Women’s Volleyball team wins their match 3-1 against the University of North Florida during the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Quarterfinal at Gampel Pavilion on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. They will continue on to a Semifinal match in Indiana, against Valparaiso University on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021. Photo by Izzi Barton / The Daily Campus.

This past weekend, the UConn women’s volleyball team traveled to West Point, NY, to compete in the Black Knight invitational. UConn faced St. Francis, Kansas and Army. Unfortunately, the Huskies fell short of winning the tournament but came out with one win against St. Francis in the first game.  

In the first match against St. Francis, both teams were trading points until senior Jasmine Davis fired off multiple kills to give UConn the lead. St Francis called a timeout and coming out of it, the Huskies went on a 4-0 run, forcing the Terriers to call another timeout. More senior support came from Allie Garland and Caylee Parker as they combined for eight kills taking away any opportunity for a St. Francis comeback. UConn finished out the third set with a final score of 25-16. Davis had a team-high of 10 kills in the game, along with Garland and Kennadie Jake-Turner with eight. Madi Whitmire put together 34 total assists in the victory over St. Francis.  

The Huskies closed out the rest of the tournament with back-to-back losses against No. 20 Kansas and Army on Saturday. It was a tough matchup with the Huskies facing the Jayhawks for the second straight weekend. Despite Davis’s efforts to help her team out, leading with seven kills, the Huskies could not put a win together. At the beginning of the match, UConn showed some promise keeping the score close. They tied the set 8-8 with a block from Pannell and Garland before the Jayhawks went on a 6-0 run.  

UConn, showing off their A-game in the second set, put together 10 kills. Senior Karly Berkland served an ace as the Huskies trailed by three, 13-10. Jake-Turner and Davis contributed late kills, but the Jayhawks pulled ahead to take a 2-0 match lead. Senior Mia Ruffalo and Davis had aces in the third set, but it wasn’t enough as Kansas won the match.  

The Huskies faced the home team, Army, in the final match of the invitational. Pannell and Parker set the season high for kills with 12 and 11. Pannell led the team with six total blocks. Berkland had a season-high of 19 digs, and freshman Emma Werkmeister had her first career start against Army.  

UConn quickly fell into a 10-1 second-set hole. The Huskies had four blocks and went on a 5-1 run to get within three, 20-17. Ruffalo had an ace as UConn tied the set 21-21. The teams exchanged points, but Army won the set, 25-22. In the third set, UConn used a 5-1 run to get ahead and make it 17-13. Army came back within one point, but the Huskies kept the lead.  

Army took a 10-5 lead in the fourth, but UConn had four straight kills to put the set at 11-10. The Black Knights went on another run, but Jake-Turner, Parker and Whitmire tried to push back with respective kills but Army finished off the set, 25-17, winning the match. 

The Huskies are back on the road next weekend at the USD Invitational where they will face USD, Utah and SMU.  

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