The UConn women’s volleyball squad made their debut at the recently renovated UConn Volleyball Center this weekend in a 1-1 doubleheader. With the season just one week underway, Connecticut is gradually starting to close the score gap between their opponents.
The tournament opener featured Lehigh University and several closely scoring sets. The Mountain Hawks, currently maintaining a remarkable 5-1 season record, met a challenge from UConn. Although the Huskies’ season record is nearly the opposite from their Pennsylvania opponent, they held their ground. UConn opened the first set with energy, and although Lehigh eventually locked down a win, UConn followed closely behind with a set final of 25-22.
In the second set, the Huskies claimed their lead early and took off from there. Once Connecticut secured a 12-9 lead, they were able to take off. The team greeted the set with a newfound dominance and was able to produce kill after kill. Ultimately, the Mountain Hawks were only able to earn 12 points in the set as UConn reached 25.
Heading into the third set, both teams had one set win under their belt and were looking to assert their position in the lead. With set three came a great deal of back and forth between the two teams. The matchup proved to be even as both squads were required to fight for a win. While both groups exchanged a leading spot with every serve, Connecticut eventually took it home. With the 26-24 set being the closest scoring yet, set four proved to be a nail-biter.
The fourth set established a neck-and-neck precedent. Lehigh took the win and pushed UConn to a fifth set with a 2-2 score. Ultimately, UConn fought but could not hang on for the final push as Lehigh rang in a winner-take-all lead. In the final, the Mountain Hawks took the win with a 3-2 finish.
To close out the game, UConn displayed a remarkable 63 kills in comparison to Lehigh’s 53. The scoring leaders in the matchup, Mya Ayro, Emma Werkmeister and Jess Perry, have already demonstrated an outstanding season as they lead the team in kills. UConn’s work in the matchup does not go unnoticed as they established a newfound dominance and energy to close the scoring gaps on the court.
Despite a demanding loss, the Huskies were not thrown off their game and came back better than ever for the second match of the day. This time, Connecticut went head-to-head with Merrimack College, a team also hoping to secure their first win of the day.
UConn hit the ground running in the matchup and made sure to demonstrate their authority on the court. From the jump, UConn locked down a 25-10 set victory. With Perry and Ayro leading the team in scoring, the group was in good hands. Redshirt freshman Audrey Rome was also a leading scorer of the set.
The second set took a slightly different turn as Merrimack was able to hold off their counterpart for a 25-22 victory. Despite this, UConn was following closely behind for the entirety of the set and remained unfazed. Going into the third and final set of the match, UConn regained their dominance and stormed the match with a 25-20 finish. During the game, UConn not only secured 53 kills, but also acquired over double the aces and blocks of Merrimack.
Ultimately, the Huskies were able to walk away from the match with their first home win under their belt. The weekend events also proved to be significant in terms of individual scoring. As for kills, sophomore Werkmeister is currently leading the team with a whopping 55 after just six games so far this season. Ayro, Perry and Cera Powell follow closely behind.
Looking ahead, the team will host another match at home as they welcome Sacred Heart University to the court. The game will be held on Thursday at 6 p.m.