It’s a sweep! The UConn women’s volleyball team had a successful weekend on its home court, going undefeated in the Dog Pound Challenge. The Huskies took down Lindenwood, Brown and Bryant in a much-needed string of victories.
The home crowd gave UConn the energy to come out in the first set with an 8-4 lead causing Lindenwood to call an early timeout. Caylee Parker and Allie Garland showed up this match and put the team on their back, having eight combined kills to take set four.
The Lions did not back down, taking an 8-4 lead in the second set and forcing the Huskies to call a timeout. After extending their lead to eight, Lindenwood started to make mistakes, and UConn took advantage of it and cut down the lead to two. The Huskies kept clawing their way back and took the lead along with set two by a final of 25-21.
Starting each set on the attack was a key to UConn’s success in this match. The Huskies had an early lead in set three, winning by a final of 25-14.
It was an outstanding all-around performance for the Huskies in this one. Parker and Garland had 13 combined kills and Karly Berkland finished with 19 digs. Madi Whitmire had 25 assists.
Whitmire and Davis started this game against Brown hot. They scored multiple points for the Huskies and took a 6-2 lead. UConn won set one by a final of 25-16 with the help of Davis, who had five kills in the first set early on.
The Bears returned in the second set, cutting the Huskies’ lead down to three. Before they let this match slip away, UConn gathered themselves and took set two by a final of 25-19. Garland had four kills and one block, which played a significant role in this set. Brown took an early 18-11 lead in the third set and won 25-18.
The fourth set was close, with the largest lead being four points. Brown took a 14-10 lead, but then UConn answered back on a three-point run. The teams went back and forth in points after 21 until the Huskies broke the standstill at 32-30 with a Kennadie Jake-Turner kill. By the time UConn and Bryant faced off in the last game of this tournament, neither of the teams had lost a game. The battle of the undefeated teams went all the way to the end in five sets, with UConn coming out on top. Davis and Parker finished with 18 and 20 kills for the match, respectively.
UConn went on a five-point run to start the match and did not stop applying pressure on Bryant. They took set one 25-11 as Parker ended it with a hard kill.
The Bulldogs bounced back in the second set, not giving UConn any room until the Huskies took a 24-19 lead. Bryant came back and won set two 26-24.
It was a shooting match in set three. Both teams did not back down and went back and forth. The largest lead was Bryant, up 5-3; UConn battled and won the set 25-23.
Bryant had an early lead in the fourth set and didn’t let their foot off the gas. They narrowly took set four 25-23, and the two teams went into set five: the winner-takes-all match.
The Huskies and Bulldogs fought hard until UConn jumped out to an 8-5 lead and won the set 15-9.
UConn now has a record of 5-5 and will take a break from tournament play to prepare for Big East action against Seton Hall on Sept. 23 in South Orange, NJ. The game will start at 6 p.m. and stream on FloSports.