GREENVILLE, N.C. – The UConn volleyball team fought back from a 2-0 deficit against East Carolina on Sunday, forcing a fifth set, but ultimately falling to the Pirates in the Williams Arena after dropping a 16-14 decision in the final game.
The Huskies (13-8, 4-6 American) were led by redshirt freshman Kayla Williams with 14 kills – her team-leading 17th double-digit kill performance of the season. Williams had her third consecutive double-double, adding 13 digs in the loss.
Following Friday’s tough five-set loss to Cincinnati, UConn was unable to complete its comeback against ECU on Sunday – its fourth-straight loss in five-set matches (1-4 this season). The final scores were 24-26, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18, and 14-16.
Juniors Danielle Cabel and Kenya Cason each recorded nine kills, as part of UConn’s 64-52 advantage in kills on Sunday. It was 16 team blocks by ECU that disrupted the Husky attack – resulting in 40 attack errors for UConn.
Senior Rebecca Rivera had 25 assists and a team-high 15 digs in the loss. Sophomore Emma Turner added a team-best 29 assists of her own. Senior Hayley Cmajdalka had a season-high six blocks against ECU.
Six players recorded at least seven kills for the Huskies, mounting a balanced offensive attack. UConn outhit the Pirates in team hitting percentage, .128 to .115.
The Huskies were off to a fast start in the first set, jumping out to a 20-13 lead. Following an ECU timeout, the Pirates rattled off a 13-4 run to steal the set and seize the momentum. ECU then managed a 25-23 win in the second set, taking a 2-0 lead.
Much like they did against USF last Sunday, the Huskies fought back by winning the third and fourth sets. Cason had all nine of her kills in the third and fourth games, while UConn hit a match-best .316 attack percentage in the third.
In the deciding fifth, ECU jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead. UConn trailed 10-6 when it went on a 7-3 run to tie the set at 13. Two attack errors by ECU tied the score when the Huskies were behind, 13-11.
Tied 14-14, Cason’s service error and Williams’ attack error ended the comeback effort, as the Pirates escaped with a victory.
The Huskies return to action on Wednesday at Temple. First serve is at 5 p.m. in Philadelphia.
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