PHILADELPHIA – The University of Connecticut volleyball team fell in four sets (16-25, 25-21, 24-26, 16-25) to Temple on Wednesday night in an American Athletic Conference matchup. With the setback, the Huskies drop to 16-12 (10-7, The American) while the Owls improve to 21-8 (12-5, The American).
Sophomore Kenya Cason (Columbus, Ohio) led the Huskies with a double-double (12 kills, 18 digs) while classmate Tosin Adeniyi (Springfield, Ill.) added 10 kills to the mix on 17 swings for a .529 hitting percentage. Junior Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) dished 20 helpers and redshirt-junior Jessika Long (Sandy, Utah) had 15 assists. Junior Hayley Cmajdalka (College Station, Texas) posted nine kills on the night. Freshman Kennedy Arundel (Chicago, Ill.) and junior Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) tallied 13 and 11 digs, respectively.
Temple opened the match on a 10-6 lead and never relinquished its advantage. The Huskies pulled within six but two-straight points by the Owls forced them to burn the first timeout. UConn tried to gain momentum after kills by Cason and two Temple attack errors but the Owls grabbed the set, 25-16.
The second set featured nine tie scores and six lead changes. Connecticut went up 7-3 early but the Owls came back to lock the score at 10 as the Huskies called for time. The two teams exchanged points to keep things close, with UConn getting a slight 17-15 edge, making Temple head to the bench. Two spikes from Cmajdalka helped the Huskies to a 24-20 lead and senior Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) sealed the set, 25-21.
In the third set, Temple was ahead 15-9 before UConn asked for a timeout. Out of the break, the Huskies fought hard to close the gap but still trailed 23-19. This time, the Owls decided they needed a break. Back on the court, a block by Adeniyi, service ace from Elizabeth Kline (Glenshaw, Pa.) and attack errors by Temple let UConn tie the set at 23-23. The Owls used their final timeout before taking the set, 26-24.
The beginning of the fourth set was close as the two teams were locked at 7-7. After that, Temple went on a 13-6 run for a 20-13 lead over the Huskies. The Owls didn’t slow down and closed out the match with a 25-16 win.
UConn is back in action on Friday, Nov. 20 when it hosts SMU at 7 p.m. The match will also serve as Senior Night.