HANOVER, N.H. – The University of Connecticut volleyball team extends its winning streak to four games after downing West Virginia, 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-21), on Saturday afternoon in the Dartmouth Tournament in Hanover, N.H. With the win, the Huskies are now 5-2 while WVU is 2-5 on the season.
Sophomore Kenya Cason (Columbus, Ohio) paced the Huskies with a match-high 14 kills. Junior Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) was just shy of a double-double after she tallied nine kills and 10 digs. Senior Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) finished with six kills and a team-best five block assists while sophomore Tosin Adeniyi (Springfield, Ill.) was close behind with four block assists and five kills. Freshman Kennedy Arundel (Chicago, Ill.) added 17 digs and classmate Emma Turner (Winter Park, Fla.) totaled 17 assists.
As a team, Connecticut held West Virginia to a .104 hitting percentage, which is a season low for the Mountaineers.
The first set began as a back-and-forth battle that included seven ties. UConn got out to a slight 8-5 edge after West Virginia committed three errors, forcing the squad to take the first timeout of the match. The Mountaineers managed to keep things close, tying the score at 14 but the Huskies didn’t let that last for long. UConn tallied five straight points on kills by Anagu and Cason while taking advantage of more WVU errors. The Mountaineers tried to rebound and got within three but a kill from Strawberry and yet another error by WVU gave UConn the set, 25-23.
Connecticut and West Virginia kept things airtight throughout the second set. After splitting the first nine points, the Huskies took a 12-10 lead on kills by Adeniyi and back-to-back errors by WVU. The Mountaineers weren’t going down without a fight, knotting the set at 17-17. UConn bounced back, hurriedly increasing the score to 20-17, making the Mountaineers call for time. The Huskies came out of the intermission strong, extending their lead to 22-18, as WVU asked for another breather. Out of the timeout, Morgan Montgomery delivered kills to bring the Mountaineers closer but Cason put the ball down hard to claim the set, 25-21.
Both squads came out with a vengeance in the third set as they exchanged points, with the Huskies leading by two on five different occasions before the Mountaineers locked things at 11-11. The two teams remained tied up to 19-19 before kills by Anagu gave the Huskies a two-point upper hand. The Mountaineers called for a break after Cason’s spike and a ball handling error gave UConn a 23-20 lead. WVU’s Dzeni Hadzisehovic added a kill to bring her team within two. Anagu’s kill gave the Huskies some cushion and an attack error by Hadzisehovic gave UConn the 25-21 victory to close out the match.
The Huskies won’t have much time to rest as they prepare to battle Dartmouth on Sunday at 2 p.m. to end the tournament.