Oct. 20, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s volleyball team (10-12, 1-6 American) forced a fifth set after going behind 2-0, but ultimately fell (23-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-17, 11-15) at Memphis (11-11, 3-4 American) on Sunday afternoon at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Madeline Kuppe (Palo Alto, Calif.) paced the UConn offense with a career-high 16 kills, while Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) added 10 and five total blocks. Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) chipped in seven kills and seven total blocks, and Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.) posted five and four. Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) posted nine kills on 19 swings, leading UConn with a .421 hitting percentage.
Defensively, Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) scooped a team-high 20 digs, while Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) grabbed 16. Marissa Prinbzach notched nine digs to go along with 42 assists, while Sophia Mar (Oakland, Calif.) added seven digs and Amy Christensen (Ashburn, Va.) scooped three.
The Tigers were led by 18 kills and nine total blocks from Lauren Hawkins, while Sydni Etheredge added 12 kills and six digs. Veronica Zimmerman posted 44 assists to lead all players, while Michaella Moss chipped in five kills and 17 digs.
Memphis started fast in the first set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. UConn pulled within one at 8-7, but the Tigers responded by going up 12-8 to force a Huskies timeout. The Tigers built their lead to as many as eight after the stoppage, but a trio of Kuppe kills got UConn within four at 20-16. A service ace from Esposito and a Cmajdalka kill cut the lead to two with the Huskies facing set point, and another Kuppe kill made it 24-23 before a UConn attack error gave the set to Memphis, 25-23.
The second set started even, with Memphis first pulling ahead by more than a point at 7-5. The Tigers stretched their lead to six at 16-10, prompting a UConn timeout. Memphis kept the pressure up after the stop, however, going up by double digits before closing the set, 25-15.
UConn jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead in the third set, forcing an early Memphis timeout. The Tigers pulled within one after the stop, but the Huskies didn’t let them even the score and went back ahead by five at 13-8 with a Ratliff kill. Back-to-back kills from Kuppe and Evans got the UConn lead to eight, its largest of the day, and the Huskies closed out the third with a Thomas kill, 25-17.
A Prinzbach and Thomas combo block gave UConn a 6-4 lead early in the fourth set, and Memphis was forced to burn a timeout after Connecticut went up 11-7. The Huskies stretched their lead to 17-9 with another block before the second Tiger timeout of the frame, and didn’t let the Tigers within five the remainder of the stanza before closing it, 25-17, thanks to a Prinzbach and Anagu rejection.
Anagu posted a pair of early kills in the deciding fifth frame, but Memphis was able to take an early 5-3 advantage. The Tigers went up 10-7 before a UConn timeout, and didn’t let Connecticut get any closer before winning the final frame, 15-11.
Up next, UConn returns home for two big conference matches. The Huskies will face Cincinnati for their “Dig Pink” game on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., then face Louisville on Sunday, Oct. 27 in a game televised on ESPNU at 1 p.m.