STORRS, Conn. – Sophomore Kenya Cason (Columbus, Ohio) tallied her eighth double-double (12 kills, 13 digs) of the season to lead the University of Connecticut volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-15) win over American Athletic Conference foe Tulane on Friday night at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. With the victory, the Huskies improve to 10-10 (4-5, The American) while the Green Wave falls to 7-14 (1-8, The American).
Junior Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) just missed out on her own double-double with nine kills and 15 digs. Senior captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) posted eight kills while sophomore Tosin Adeniyi (Springfield, Ill.) had five kills and a team-high four block assists. Classmate Danielle Cabel (Bettendorf, Iowa) added six kills to mix. Junior Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) dished-out 18 assists and freshman Emma Turner (Winter Park, Fla.) had 16 helpers. Freshman Kennedy Arundel (Chicago, Ill.) notched a match-best 17 digs.
UConn started the first set with a block by Cason and senior Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) before Tulane jumped out to a 9-5 lead. A kill from Strawberry and service ace by Turner brought the Huskies within two. Connecticut posted five-straight points to lock the score at 13-13. The two teams would go on to knot the set three more times until a trio of consecutive kills by Cason gave the Huskies an 18-16 edge. UConn went on a 7-1 run that included two Green Wave attack errors and blocks from Thomas and Anagu to take the first set, 25-17.
The second set featured 13 tie scores but only three lead changes. Both squads exchanged points early on, remaining tied until a kill by Strawberry gave the Huskies an 11-10 edge. UConn tallied the next five points for a 16-11 lead, which included three-straight kills from Adeniyi and forced Tulane to use a timeout. The Green Wave began to rally and went ahead, 19-18, as the Huskies spent a timeout of their own. It was a back-and-forth battle but UConn fell behind 21-23. A Tulane service error and blocks by Strawberry and Adeniyi tied the score at 23 and sent the Green Wave back to the bench. The Huskies had a chance to take the set after Strawberry’s kill and another Tulane error gave UConn a 25-24 lead. The Green Wave tied the score at 25 but a service error and spike by Cason handed the Huskies the second set, 27-25.
The third set was all about the Huskies, who got out to a 9-3 lead early to make Tulane call for time. UConn kept building its momentum, thanks to four kills from Cason to help the team to a 7-3 run. Blocks by Thomas and Anagu along with two kills from Strawberry increased the lead to 20-12. Cabel laid down back-to-back spikes to give the Huskies a 22-13 advantage. Strawberry delivered a hard ace before Adeniyi spiked the ball down off the over for UConn to claim the final set, 25-15.
The Huskies will face Houston on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m.