After coming off back-to-back, losing weekends at the USD and Black Knight Invitational, the UConn Huskies invite Lindenwood, Brown, and Bryant to Gampel to compete in the Dog Pound Challenge. Finishing out the USD Invitational with a win against SMU 3-2, UConn looks to carry the positive energy to start this tournament off on a high note against Lindenwood.
The Lindenwood Volleyball team recently transitioned to NCAA Division 1 and the Ohio Valley Conference for the first time this year. The Lions have been holding their own in their first year competing at the new level, starting off the season with back-to-back wins and now currently hold a 3-3 record. One player to look out for in this tournament is sophomore Madilyn Dement, who leads the team with 62 kills. Dement is coming off an impressive performance at the Wildcat Classic hosted by Davidson College, as she was named All-Tournament Team that weekend. She recorded 33 kills, including 17 in Lindenwood’s five-set victory over North Carolina A&T. More talent on this team to pay attention to are Allie Otten, who leads the team with 108 assists, and Rebecca Janke leads with 21.0 blocks so far. The Lions and Huskies will face off in the first game of this tournament on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m.
The next opponent for the Huskies will be against Brown University. The Brown Bears recently had a five-set win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Freshman star Sophia Miller put up 19 kills in the match, and freshman Mariia Sidorova had a career-high 16 kills. Miller also leads the team with 101 kills on the season. The Bears are currently 3-4 and will look for their young offensive talent to hold up against the Huskies. Brown will play UConn on Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
In the final match of this tournament, the Bryant Bulldogs will try to take down the UConn Huskies. The Bulldogs beat Rhode Island with a 3-0 sweep, which is their third in a row over the Rams, and second in a week against an in-state opponent. Alysa Wright led Bryant with 10 kills, two blocks and assists, and eleven total points. After her standout performance, Wright has 80 kills on the season and joins her teammates Fabi Castro and Aubrey Lapour as the only players on the team with 80+ kills on the season. Wright also leads the America East with 42 blocks on the season while leading her team with a 309 attack percentage. Bryant is coming into Gampel Pavilion with some firepower in what will likely be a tough match for UConn. The game will also be on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., shortly after the Brown game.
The Huskies will look to Madi Whitmire, Karly Berkland, and Caylee Parker for some senior leadership to come out of their own tournament victorious. The matches will be streamed on FloSports starting at 7 p.m. tonight.