Nov. 10, 2013
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn women’s volleyball team (11-17, 2-11 American) got 16 kills from Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.) in a losing effort, falling 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 18-25, 18-25) to UCF (18-7, 9-3 American) on Sunday afternoon at Gampel Pavilion.
Ratliff picked up her 16 kill on 28 swings with five errors, to total a .393 hitting percentage on the day. She was supported by freshmen Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) each picking up nine kills, while the rookie duo also combined for five digs and three total blocks. Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) added six kills and four blocks for UConn, while Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) and Jackie Wattles (Liberty Hill, Texas) each notched five kills.
Defensively, UConn was led by 17 digs from junior Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) and 16 from classmate and fellow co-captain Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.). Amy Christensen (Ashburn, Va.) and Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) combined to add 13 digs, and Marissa Prinzbach (Cincinnati) posted seven to go along with her team-high 42 assists and four total blocks.
UCF got double digit kills from four players, including 17 from Ashley Gialenios and 16 from DeLaina Sarden. The duo hit .368 and .394, respectively. Marie Reiterova posted 58 assists and Jade Hayes scooped 26 digs for the Knights, who hit a blistering .309 on the afternoon.
A Strawberry kill knotted the first set at 10-10, before a 3-0 UCF run forced a UConn timeout. The Huskies took another stoppage down 18-14, and battled back to make it 21-18 with a Thomas kill before UCF called for a breather. The Knights wouldn’t allow the Huskies to crawl any closer, closing the set 25-21 with a Gialenios kill to go up 1-0 in the match.
UConn was again forced to burn its two timeouts early in the second set, using them at deficits of 10-8 and 15-11. Anagu picked up a kill before a Christensen ace made it 18-16 UCF, and after a pair of Knight stoppages the Huskies pulled even at 19-all via a Maugle service ace. Ratliff’s sixth and seventh kills of the second frame put UConn up 22-21, and Strawberry got the Huskies up two before a UCF error sealed the set for UConn, 25-22, to even the match at 1-1.
The third set was yet again a tight one, with UConn using its first timeout down 14-12 after a UCF block. A Ratliff kill pulled UConn within one, before UCF rattled off four in a row to go up by six. The Huskies pulled within four late thanks to a big kill from Wattles, but the Knights scored the last three points of the frame to take it, 25-18.
After UCF went up 5-2 early in the fourth set, the teams traded one-point leads and ties up until a Strawberry kill made it 16-16. UCF scored the next five points following that kill, leading to a pair of UConn timeouts. Overall, UCF closed the match on a 9-2 run, winning the fourth set 25-18 and the match, 3-1.
Up next, UConn hits the road for a trip to the Garden State when the Huskies take on Rutgers on Friday, Nov. 15. First serve in New Brunswick, N.J. is set for 7 p.m.
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