With two more Big East contests under their belt, the UConn women’s volleyball team is now on a seven-game losing streak. Despite this record, the Huskies still managed to demonstrate several successful plays this past weekend against Villanova and Georgetown. Although it has proven to be very difficult for the Huskies to get out of this slump, they are still challenging their opponents on the court.
The first of the weekend was Villanova. The Wildcats’ favorable season record of 11-7 gave the Huskies a hint that the match would be tough. Despite walking away 0-3, the Huskies were able to keep their heads up and never lose sight of the finish.
The first set was the Huskies’ closest chance at victory with a 23-25 match finish. From the jump, UConn secured the first kill by Emma Werkmeister; they were ready to get to work. Although the Wildcats were able to match this, Werkmeister was ready to fire off another kill. Early on, UConn established the precedent that they would not be an easy defeat. Every kill that Villanova made, Connecticut was there to match it. The Huskies’ have made it a theme to follow on the heels of their opponent and this match was no different. It looked as though the Wildcats may have gained some momentum when the score became 16-12, but Connecticut soon secured a scoring drive to bring the tension back. As the score surpassed 20 the duo battled back and forth for the final and most important points of the contest. In the end, Villanova was able to lock in the two final points to make it a 25-23 finish.
Although the first set ended in defeat, the score only fueled Connecticut’s fire since they were mere points away from victory. Heading into the second set, the intensity didn’t let up. Although Villanova secured the first point of the match, the Huskies were right there with them. The Wildcats were unable to earn a significant scoring margin as the Huskies continued to tie the game. The second set followed a similar sequence to the first as both teams were demonstrating equal skill and intensity. As the score became 19-19, the duo would have to battle it out for the last five points. In the end, Villanova was once again able to secure the final points of the match in an almost identical score to that of the first set 25-22.
Once again, Connecticut was holding victory in their hands but couldn’t secure the final points needed. The third and final set was no different than the first two. Despite battling it out in the beginning, the Huskies were unable to hold on to the final points of the game to lead to a 20-25 finish. Despite this loss, the Huskies were a solid force with a unified offensive and defensive crew.
The Huskies refused to walk into the second game of the weekend defeated and instead carried their heads high. Despite Georgetown’s No. 5 conference ranking, the Huskies didn’t let intimidation get to them.
UConn made their presence known on the court as they scored the first point of the day with a kill from Doga Kutlu. Connecticut had an explosive first set and demonstrated the best skill they have all season in a 25-12 set finish. With a 13-point scoring margin and a relentless offensive crew, the Huskies were dominant and dynamic.
Unfortunately, the next three sets did not follow the same pattern. In the second, the Huskies came just points short of success once again. While demonstrating exceptional skill, Georgetown took the final 25-22 win. The third and fourth sets were nearly identical as Connecticut finished 19-25 and 23-25.
Despite Connecticut’s record, the squad has done an excellent job at matching the intensity and gameplay of their opponents. Although the Huskies have had trouble securing the final points in their matches, they have been able to stay on their opponent’s heels and have proven to be a fierce competitor themselves.
This past weekend, Connecticut demonstrated fantastic offensive and defensive play and was successful in building the momentum on the court.
With just over a month left in the season, UConn will be preparing for matches against Xavier and Butler next weekend.