STORRS, Conn. – Redshirt-freshman Kayla Williams was just one dig short of her sixth straight double-double with 10 kills and nine digs, as the UConn volleyball team rolled past Houston in the American Athletic Conference opener at Gampel Pavilion.
The Huskies (10-2, 1-0 American) won the match in straight sets – 25-20, 25-21, 25-11 – to pick up its first conference win of the season. Houston fell to 5-7 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
Williams led the charge on offense, recording double-digit kills for the 10th-straight match. Junior Kenya Cason added nine kills and eight digs in the victory, which is the second time head coach Kris Grunwald has won a conference opener in his three seasons at UConn.
Senior Camille Evans added eight kills and junior Tosin Adeniyi fueled the defense with a match-high four blocks. Senior Rebecca Rivera had a team-best 19 assists for the Huskies, who recorded a .304 hitting percentage on Friday.
A 10-3 run in the first set, capped off by a kill from Cason, allowed the Huskies to jump out to a 15-7 advantage. Williams ended the set with a kill of her own. The duo accounted for nine kills in the first set.
Rivera recorded eight of her assists in the second set, which the Huskies grinded out with a 9-5 run to end the set and heading into the intermission.
Right from the start of set three, the Huskies dominated the match by gaining a 10-3 lead in the first 13 points. Senior Hayley Cmajdalka had a set-high four kills to finish off the Cougars in the third.
With one conference win under their belt, the Huskies look to protect home court once again on Sunday when Tulane comes to town. First serve is at 12 p.m. in Gampel Pavilion.