LEWISBURG, Pa. - The University of Connecticut volleyball team began the Bucknell Tournament with a convincing sweep over Cornell (25-12, 25-19, 25-23) on Friday evening at Davis Gym. With the three-set win, the Huskies jump up to 4-3 in 2014, while the Big Red fall to 1-4.
Senior tri-captain Brianna Datti (Duham, N.H.) made history in the first set, notching her 1,000th career dig. She becomes just the 11th Husky to achieve the feat. Datti finished the match with a team-best 12 digs.
Offensively, captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) tallied a match-high 13 kills and added two service aces. Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Fla.) chipped in 11 kills to go along with a match-high .529 hitting percentage and also recorded both a solo and combo block. Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) and Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) split the setting duties and recorded 18 and 15 assists, respectively.
As a team, UConn registered five service aces and hit .230. No Cornell player recorded double-digit assists as the Huskies held their out-of-state foes to just a .101 hitting percentage.
The Huskies came out strong in the first set, opening up a 4-1 lead after a Datti service ace. Two straight Thomas kills followed by a Big Red ball-handling error moved the Husky lead to 10-5. The teams traded points before Cason rose up and delivered two big kills to extend the UConn edge to 17-8 and drew the first Cornell whistle of the match. UConn cruised after the timeout, winning 25-12.
Cornell responded early in the second set, putting together a 3-1 start but the Huskies found an answer, scoring six straight points, highlighted by three kills from Cason, to take a 7-3 edge. Cornell used a breather but was unable to slow the hot Husky offense, which rattled off a 9-to-4 run. The Big Red wouldn't go easy, grabbing four straight points to pull within two but Cason and Adeniyi found an answer and pulled UConn to within five points of the set victory. The Huskies sealed the frame with back-to-back kills from Adeniyi and Maugle to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
UConn moved out to an 11-5 advantage in the third set but Cornell raced back, knotting the score even at 12-apiece. A bad set by the Big Red and a Maugle kill pushed the Huskies out 20-18 and the squad took the set, 25-23, after an Anagu kill.
The Huskies round weekend play tomorrow morning when they take on tournament host Bucknell at 11:30 a.m.