Aug 31, 2013
Box score (PDF)
FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- The UConn women's volleyball team (1-2) came out strong and won the first set, but host IPFW (3-0) stormed back to win the next three and took home a 3-1 victory (25-22, 16-25, 17-25, 20-25) in the championship match of the IPFW Invitational on Saturday night.
Junior Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.) led the offensive charge for the Huskies, posting a match and career-high 18 kills on 41 swings for a .415 hitting percentage. Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) posted her second double-double in as many days with 10 kills and 12 digs, while Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) added seven kills and four block assists. Strawberry and Thomas were both named to the All-Tournament Team following the contest.
Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) led UConn with 13 digs, and Marissa Prinzbach (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a team-high 36 assists. Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) and Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meetings, Pa.) each chipped in five kills, with Maugle adding nine digs and three assists.
Emily Spencer and Katie Higginbotham led the Mastodon attack, posting 17 and 12 kills, respectively. Madison Spence had a 49-assist, 12-dig double-double and Jen Milligan scooped 24 digs for the hosts and victors.
The Huskies used back-to-back Strawberry kills and a pair of Mastodon errors to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set. IPFW responded with five of the next six points, going up 6-5 and forcing a UConn timeout. The first set continued to stay close, with IPFW opening up a two-point lead but the Huskies not allowing them to expand on that.
A Ratliff kill gave the Huskies their first lead since the beginning of the contest, 18-17, and forced an IPFW timeout. Another kill from the junior and a Mastodon error made it 22-19 Connecticut, and after timeouts from each side Strawberry sealed the opening set with her sixth kill.
The Mastodons opened the second set strong, taking a 5-2 advantage before a UConn timeout. IPFW stretched its lead to five before a Maugle kill ended the run, but the hosts were able to keep their lead there for much of the second stanza.
IPFW was able to open its second set lead to as many as 10, and eventually closed out the frame with a score of 25-16.
A Ratliff kill got the Huskies out to an early lead in the third set, and a 5-0 run made it 7-4 before a Mastodon timeout. UConn kept its lead for a stretch in the frame, before IPFW pulled ahead at 12-11 prior to a Connecticut stoppage.
Maugle notched a kill to tie the contest back up, but IPFW kept pressing to push its lead to four before another UConn timeout which saw the Huskies down 17-13. UConn battled back to within two, but the Mastodons wouldn't allow them to get any closer than that and closed the set on a 6-0 run to take it, 25-17.
The teams traded points at the outset of the fourth set, with a pair of Anagu kills giving the Huskies a 5-4 advantage early on. IPFW was able to open up a 10-7 lead before a UConn timeout, but the Huskies responded by pulling back within one.
UConn burned another timeout after falling behind 15-12, then pulled within two at 17-15 which led to IPFW using one of its own. The Mastodons pushed their lead to five, but three straight points from UConn cut the lead to 20-18 before another IPFW timeout. The Huskies got their run to four and pulled within one, but they couldn't cut it any closer as IPFW won the set 25-20 to take home the tournament crown.
The Huskies are back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 3 when they host Hartford in the first match of the season at Gampel Pavilion. The contest gets underway at 7 p.m.
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