STORRS, Conn. - Despite a nine-kill performance from junior tri-captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.), the University of Connecticut women's volleyball team fell, 3-0 (19-25, 21-25, 19-25), to new conference foe Tulsa on Friday night at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. With the setback, the Huskies drop to 9-11 (2-7, The American), while the Golden Hurricane extend their league winning streak to five and improve to 13-7 overall.
Thomas' nine kills came on 31 swings (.161 percentage), as the captain also recorded a block assist in the loss. Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) hit a team-best .750 with six kills and Jade Strawberry posted a seven-kill, eight-dig night. Senior captain Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) led the team with 14 digs, while sophomore setter Rebecca Rivera dished out 17 assists. Tosin Adeniyi (Springfield, Ill.) followed up her career-best eight-block performance with two rejections and a pair of kills.
As a team, the Huskies hit .172 and also recorded three total team blocks. The Golden Hurricane were led by 13 kills from Erica Bohannon and also hit at least. 216 in each of the three sets.
The Huskies drop to .500 (5-5) at home this season but will play three of their next five matches at the friendly confines of Gampel Pavilion.
The first frame was tight as the teams split the first 20 points of the set. Tulsa took a two-point lead after a kill by Nicole Newton and a service ace and forced UConn to call for time, down 16-12. Following the break, a Strawberry kill and two attack errors by the visitors tied things up at 16-all and drew a Golden Hurricane whistle. Back-to-back kills from Ashley Hooper gave Tulsa a two-point cushion and the Golden Hurricanes were able to take the frame, 25-19, after scoring eight of the final nine points.
Neither team grabbed an immediate advantage in the second set, but the Huskies took their first lead at 10-9 after Maugle slammed home a kill. The visitors moved ahead, 13-11, after a small run but the Huskies responded again, tying things up after consecutive kills from Evans and Thomas. The set remained tied until Tulsa was able to pull away, 20-18, and force a UConn clock stoppage. The Huskies pulled within one after the break but couldn't get any closer, falling, 25-21.
Tulsa came out with momentum following the 10-minute break, jumping ahead of the Huskies 9-4 after three straight kills from Bohannon. The Huskies called for time and battled back, closing the deficit to one after a pair of Evans kills was sandwiched around a Husky attack error. The Huskies drew even at 18 but could never grab the lead, surrendering six of the match's final seven points.
The team returns to action on Sunday when it hosts conference foe SMU at 12 p.m. Fans are reminded to wear their most creative Halloween costumes for a chance to win gift cards.