MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Sophomore middle blocker Hayley Cmajdalka (College Station, Texas) hit a team-best .235 off the bench but the University of Connecticut women’s volleyball team fell, 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25), to Memphis on Sunday afternoon at Elma Roane Field House. With the setback, UConn drops to 10-13 (3-9, The American), while the Tigers jump to 19-7 (9-3, The American).
Sophomore Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) and senior Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) each registered 10 kills, while junior middle blocker Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) notched nine kills on 27 swings and also added a block assist in the setback. Setters Rebecca Rivera and Sage Esposito recorded 21 and 19 blocks, respectively. Senior defensive specialist Amy Christensen scooped 12 digs and added a service ace for the Huskies.
Neither team could grab more than a one-point edge in the early stages of the first set until Memphis moved ahead 12-10 courtesy of a Catlin Lilly kill. The Huskies knotted things up at 14 after Maugle delivered a kill, but Memphis answered, charging ahead 23-21 after a Husky ball handling error. UConn pulled within 23-22 but the Tigers sealed the set with consecutive kills.
The Huskies responded in the second set grabbing a 10-8 advantage after an Esposito service ace. A 3-0 Husky run pushed the lead to four and Connecticut took a 21-18 edge after a monster combo block from Maugle and freshman Tosin Adeniyi. A Strawberry kill moved UConn to within one point of the set win and a subsequent attack error by the Tigers ended the frame.
Connecticut opened the third set on a 14-to-8 run after scoring four straight points with Maugle serving. Memphis answered with a 3-to-0 run of its own and pulled within one after a service ace. An Anagu slam gave UConn a 23-19 edge but the home team scored the last six points of the frame to win, 25-23.
Memphis charged out to a 16-4 lead in the fourth before the Huskies rattled off an impressive 7-to-0 run, helped by four kills from Kenya Cason. Despite the late comeback, Memphis scored the final three points of the set to win the match, 3-1.
The Huskies return to action on Friday, Nov. 7 when they host The American’s first-place team UCF at Gampel Pavilion. First serve is set for 7 p.m.