Nov. 3, 2013
DALLAS – The UConn women’s volleyball team (11-15, 2-9 American) dropped a hotly contested contest (22-25, 20-25, 20-25) to Southern Methodist (16-8, 8-3 American) on Sunday afternoon at SMU’s Dedman Center.
Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) and Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.) had strong offensive days for UConn in the loss, each posting 11 kills while hitting .714 and .400, respectively. Rookie Hayley Cmajdalka (College Station, Texas) had an eight-kill, three-block performance in her home state, and Marissa Prinzbach (Cincinnati, Ohio) dished out 36 assists. Defensively, Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) led UConn with 18 digs, while Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) and Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) combined to scoop 17 more.
SMY was led by 12 kills from Caroline Young, while Cailin Bula also secured 11. Morgan Heise led the Mustangs with 11 digs, and Avery Acker turned in a 38-assist, seven-dig day. As a team, the Mustangs hit .281 and totaled 18 block assists.
The first set opened airtight, with neither team able to gain more than a two-point lead. A Thomas kill made it 14-12 Connecticut, and a Cmajdalka slam put the Huskies on top 18-16. The Mustangs responded with four in a row to jump back on top, before holding on to win the set, 25-22.
A block gave SMU a 7-4 lead early in the second set, but UConn got one of its own from Cmajdalka and Prinzbach to knot the set at 9-all. After a Christensen ace made it 13-13 and SMU used a timeout, and the Huskies ran their lead to 17-13 after the break. SMU came roaring back with a 12-3 run to close the set, winning it 25-20.
Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) gave UConn an 8-7 lead with a kill early in the third set, and a Mustang error gave the Huskies a 13-11 lead, forcing a timeout. SMU battled back to tie after the stoppage, in total going on a 6-1 run to take a 17-14 lead and force UConn to use a timeout of its own. UConn tied it again after the break, then went ahead 18-17 thanks to a Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) and Anagu combo block. After the Mustangs went back ahead a pair of late Cmajdalka kills kept UConn alive, but SMU was able to hang on and win the set, 25-20, and clinch the sweep.
Up next, UConn returns home to host a pair of matches against American foes visiting from the Sunshine State. South Florida will visit Gampel Pavilion on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. before Central Florida heads to Storrs on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.