Oct. 4, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. -- In a back-and-forth contest, the UConn women's volleyball team (8-9, 0-3 American) was unable to pick up its first conference win, falling in five sets (25-16, 22-25, 15-25, 25-14, 11-15) at UCF (11-4, 2-0 American) on Friday night at The Venue at UCF.
The Huskies were led by a career-high 19-kill outburst from Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.), who slammed down her personal high mark on 39 attacks with three errors, securing a .410 hitting percentage. Anagu was one of four Huskies in double-digits in the setback, with Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.) posting 16 kills as well. Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) and Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) each added 10, with Thomas adding a team-high four total blocks.
Marissa Prinzbach (Cincinnati, Ohio) also had a big day for UConn, tying a personal best with 58 assists and adding five digs. Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) set a career-high with 34 digs, as did Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) by scooping 18. Rookies Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Sophia Mar (Oakland, Calif.) aided the defensive effort by adding 15 and 10, respectively.
UCF got 13 kills apiece from Angelica Crump and DeLaina Sarden, two of the top hitters in The American. Dana Faught posted a 49-assist, 12-dig double-double, and Jade Hayes led the Knights with 21 digs.
UConn jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first set, but UCF stormed back to score five straight and go up 6-4. The first set stayed even for a stretch, but a big block by UConn put the Huskies up 13-11 and forced a Knight stoppage.
The Huskies scored four straight after the stop, running their lead to six before another UCF timeout. UConn kept up its strong play through the remainder of the set, winning it 25-16 with a Thomas kill.
UCF scored the first three points of the second set, and forced a UConn timeout after going up 7-3. A Ratliff kill pulled UConn within one at 10-9, but UCF responded with a 6-2 run to go up five and force another Husky breather.
UConn scored four straight after the stop to pull back within one, before a UCF timeout. An attack error for the Knights after the break tied the set, but UCF was able to retake a two-point lead and held onto their lead the rest of the frame, winning the set 25-22 to tie the match.
UCF came out fast in the third set, jumping out to a 9-4 lead before a UConn timeout. After going down 11-5, UConn rattled off a 5-0 run to pull within one, capped by a Thomas and Ratliff block. UCF wouldn't allow UConn to tie it for the middle portion of the set, and a Sarden kill put the Knights up 16-12 before a timeout. After the stop, UCF scored nine-of-12 to take the third, 25-15, and go up 2-1 in the match.
The Huskies scored the first three points of the fourth set as they tried to force it five. Two Evans kills made it 11-6 UConn, forcing a UCF timeout. The Knights took another stoppage after going down 14-8, and the Huskies went up 10 after the stop with a Strawberry kill. UConn kept its lead around there for the rest of the set, and after a timeout with a 22-14, capped the set with three straight to win it 25-14.
The Knights scored the first two points of the deciding fifth set, before a Thomas kill got UConn on the board. After a Husky timeout down 4-1, an Anagu kill got UConn within one at 5-4. UCF responded with a 4-1 run, going up 9-5 to force another UConn timeout. UConn got it within three when facing set points thanks to another Anagu kill, but the Knights closed the set, 15-11, to secure the match victory.
UConn visits its second conference-mate from Florida on Sunday, travelling to Tampa to take on USF. Match time is set for 2 p.m.