ORLANDO – The University of Connecticut women’s volleyball team wrapped up its two-game road trip to Florida with a 3-0 loss (17-25, 14-25, 15-25) to conference foe Central Florida on Sunday afternoon. With the setback, the Huskies drop to 9-6 (2-2, The American), while UCF improves to 11-5 overall (4-0, The American).
UConn now stands at 0-4 all-time against UCF. The Knights held the Huskies to just a .079 hitting percentage throughout the match.
Junior captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) led the Huskies with six kills and a .263 hitting percentage. Freshman Tosin Adeniyi (Springfield, Ill.) chipped in five kills and a block assist, while senior setter Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) dished out a team-best 12 helpers and also scooped six digs. Senior tri-captain Brianna Datti led all Husky players with 11 digs.
UCF notched the first four points of the opening set, after two Husky attack errors and kills from Kia Bright. The Huskies grabbed three of the next five points behind a Cmajdalka kill and a service error from the Knights. With Strawberry serving, the Huskies rattled off three points to draw within 9-7 but the home team registered a combo block, forcing the Huskies to use their first timeout down, 14-9. The Knights continued their strong play out of the break, extending their lead to a 19-10 after back-to-back kills from Loren Cory. Kills from Adeniyi and Anagu shrunk the UCF lead to seven but the Knights sealed the set, 25-17, following a Green slam.
The Knights started strong again in the second frame, jumping ahead, 7-3. The squads traded points to 13-9 in favor of Central Florida before the home team erupted for a 4-to-1 run to move ahead 16-9. A 3-to-0 Husky run moved the visitors to within six, courtesy of a kill an a block assist from Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.). The Knights scored the final four points of the set to win, 25-14, and take a 2-to-0 edge in the match.
The Huskies responded early in the third, jumping ahead 4-2 after consecutive kills from Thomas off a pair of excellent sets from Esposito. UCF ran off a 7-to-2 streak but Maugle stepped up and delivered her second kill of the set to cut the lead to two. The home team responded with its own 4-to-0 run and drew a Husky breather. A block assist from Adeniyi and Thomas helped UConn cut the lead to four but UCF would not be denied, taking the set, 25-15, and earning the match win.
The Huskies return home to Harry A. Gampel Pavilion for the first time since Sept. 24 when they host Memphis on Friday, Oct. 10. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
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