WEST POINT, N.Y. – Redshirt freshman Kayla Williams charged the University of Connecticut volleyball team’s effort on the first day of the West Point Invitational, recording 46 kills in two matches and helping the Huskies earn a split with Albany and Army.
The Huskies (8-2) defeated the Black Knights, the tournament host, in the evening match by a 30-28, 21-25, 25-17, 25-23 final in four sets. In the morning match, UConn lost to Albany in four sets.
Williams recorded two double-doubles on Friday, including 20 kills and 11 digs in the victory over Army. UConn grinded-out the four-set win after an extended first set and preventing a fifth set in a tightly-contest fourth.
UConn had a 64-48 advantage in kills, adding to its nation-best 15.38 kills per set. Adeniyi and senior Hayley Cmajdalka each had nine kills to go with Williams and Cason’s combined 35.
In the key first set, the Huskies and Black Knights were trading points before a kill by Cason and Army attacking error won the set for UConn, 30-28. Army jumped back with a 25-21 edge in set two, despite UConn’s comeback attempts.
The Huskies’ .312 hitting percentage in the third set helped them to a comfortable winning margin, before the hard-fought fourth set ended the match. Tied 23-23, a kill by Adeniyi and service ace by senior Rebecca Rivera won UConn its eighth match of the season.
The West Point Invitational continues tomorrow, as the Huskies play St. John’s at 3 p.m. (ET) back at the Gillis Field House.
Albany 3, UConn 1
Williams had a career-day against the Great Danes, recording a double-double of 26 kills and 15 digs in the 3-1 loss to Albany early Friday afternoon. The loss snapped UConn’s four-match winning streak.
The Huskies were close, but unable to force a fifth set, falling short by the scores of 15-25, 25-20, 19-25, and 23-25. The fourth set went back-and-forth, before the Great Danes pulled away.
Williams recorded a .380 hitting percentage, connecting on 26 of her 50 total attacks – twice as many as any other UConn player. Following the Albany match, it was her seventh performance of double-digit kills and third double-double in the first nine matches this season.
UConn held a 56-55 advantage in kills, but suffered with attack errors – racking up 26 errors to Albany’s 16. A .286 hitting percentage in the second set was the best of the match for the Huskies.
Tied 5-5 early in the second set, the Huskies went on an 11-3 run to make it 16-8. From there, UConn was in control to tie the match, 1-1, after dropping the first set. Williams had 12 of her kills in the first two sets combined.
In the tiebreaking third set, UConn trailed 20-12 and went on a 7-2 run to tighten the game, but Albany held on to take a 2-1 lead. In the fourth set, Albany won three of the last four points to take the set and the match.