RALEIGH, N.C. – The University of Connecticut volleyball team began the Courtyard Midtown Classic with a 3-0 win over Toledo on Friday afternoon at Reynolds Coliseum. With the win, UConn improves to 3-1 on the young season, which is the program’s best start since 2008 (4-0).
Senior tri-captain Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) posted her fourth-straight double-double (11 kills, 11 digs), while fellow captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) contributed seven kills to go along with a stellar .467 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) chipped in 17 assists and a pair of service aces, while Brianna Datti (Durham, N.C.) scooped a game-best 16 digs in the win.
The Huskies compiled a .279 team hitting percentage and tallied three total blocks.
UConn came out fast in the first set, jumping ahead 4-1. Two Rockets’ kills pulled Toledo even at 8-8 and the teams traded points back-and-forth to 24-24. With the score tied, an attack error by Toledo gave the Huskies a one point advantage before Maugle sealed the set victory with her fourth kill of the frame.
The second set started out airtight with the squads splitting the first 12 points. Consecutive kills from Anagu and Cason opened the Husky lead to two but Toledo again answered back, drawing even at 10-10. Two ball handling errors and a pair of Rockets’ attack errors gave UConn a 14-10 edge and forced Toledo into its first timeout of the set. The Rockets were able to grab back some momentum after the break, scoring five of the next eight points but the Huskies leaned on the upperclassmen Anagu and Maugle who delivered big kills to extend the lead to 21-16. After a Katherine Towslee kill, Maugle again ended the frame with a decisive kill.
The Huskies cruised in the third set, moving out to an early 5-1 advantage. After Toledo pulled to within three, a pair of Towslee kills, sandwiched between a Maugle kill, pushed the Huskies ahead 15-7 forcing the Rockets into a breather. Following the stoppage, UConn moved ahead 19-9 and closed out the match with a 25-17 victory.
The Huskies will rest up before playing in two matches tomorrow to round out tournament play. First up, UConn takes on Rice at 10 a.m. before finishing the weekend against NC State at 7 p.m.