LEWISBURG, Pa. – The University of Connecticut volleyball teamed rounded out play at the 2014 Bucknell Tournament with a 3-1 win (27-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-17) over the Bison on Saturday morning at Davis gym. With the victory, UConn improves to 5-3, while Bucknell drops to 1-6.
Sophomore setter Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) notched a double-double, registering a team-high 25 assists to go along with 11 digs. Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) contributed 14 kills for the UConn offense which recorded 56 kills on the afternoon. Senior Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) dished out 17 assists and also chipped in three service aces. Defensively, Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) scooped 15 digs. Junior middle blocker Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) continued her string of recent success, tallying five block assists to go along with a solo rejection.
Bucknell scored the first four points of the opening set, taking advantage of two Husky errors. After Bucknell extended its lead to 7-1, the Huskies battled back, scoring four of the next five points, highlighted by a service ace from Datti. Back-to-back kills from Maugle and Thomas knotted the game up at 16 before Bucknell rattled off three straight points to take back the lead. A Maugle kill gave the Huskies their first lead at 22-21 and three straight kills from Cason sealed the set win, 27-25.
The second frame started out airtight with both teams grabbing seven points. Kills from Katherine Towslee (Woodinville, Wash.) and Anagu gave UConn a three-point cushion. The Bison pulled even at 15 courtesy of two Hailey Stout kills and three Husky errors gave Bucknell a 19-16 lead. The Huskies got within one at 20-19 but Bucknell scored five of the final six points to earn the set victory, 25-20.
Things started off tight again in the third, with the squads each earning seven points. Two Husky errors gave the Bison a slim two-point edge but Bucknell returned the favor with two errors of its own to erase the advantage. The Bison grabbed a 16-13 lead forcing a Husky timeout but UConn responded after the breather, scoring three straight times, highlighted by a combo block from Thomas and Anagu. Another two-point run by the Bison promoted UConn’s last timeout but again the Huskies found an answer, using two Adeniyi kills and a Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) spike to win the set, 25-23.
Bucknell put pressure on the Huskies early in the fourth set, moving out to a 10-6 lead. The Huskies capitalized on the ensuing Bucknell errors, using a kill from Maugle and a Bison service error to pull even. The Huskies launched an eight-point barrage, helped by three Maugle kills and two combo blocks. A Cason kill moved the squad to within one point of the match win and three plays later a service error gave UConn the win.
The Huskies will have the next six days off before hosting Hofstra, Columbia and Bryant in a home tournament at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.