Nov. 24, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - The UConn women’s volleyball team was unable to avenge an early season loss to American rival Temple, losing to the Owls on Sunday afternoon in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-20) on the Huskies' Senior Day at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.
In their last home match of the season, the Huskies (13-18, 4-12 American) played a tough Temple (18-10, 9-7 American) team competitively, but was unable to pull out a win for UConn's lone senior, Jackie Wattles (Liberty Hill, Texas). Wattles made her first start of the season after being honored in a pregame ceremony and posted four kills in the first set, tallying five on .625 hitting for the afternoon. The senior also chipped in a dig and a block assist.
Junior Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.) led the Huskies with 15 kills on 33 total attacks, while Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) and Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) added nine and six kills respectively in the losing effort. Marissa Prinzbach (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a game-high 37 assists to help support the Huskies' offense.
Temple's Gabriella Matautia and Elyse Burkert both had kill totals in double figures. Burkert had 12 kills and 19 digs, while Matautia had a game-high 17 kills on 32 attempts, earning a .406 attack percentage.
Defensively, Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) led the Huskies with 15 digs, while Maugle added 11 and Prinzbach scooped 10 post a double-double. Amy Christensen (Ashburn, Va.) and Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.) rounded out the defensive effort by combining for 15 digs.
In the first set, UConn jumped out to an early 8-4 lead with Wattles contributing a kill during the run. Very quickly, Temple responded with an 8-4 run of their own, capitalizing off attack errors by Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) and Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.), which resulted in a Husky timeout. After the stoppage in play, the Huskies had four consecutive attack errors, giving the Owls a 17-13 advantage, and a lead they would not surrender. A combo block by Wattles and Evans pulled the Huskies within three at 20-17, but that was as close as the Huskies would get. In total, Temple went on a 12-5 run to end the first set and won it 25-18.
Both teams came out firing in the second set, with a back and forth exchange that resulted in an early 9-9 score after Ratliff evened the score with one of her 15 kills. Temple then jumped out to a 17-12 lead with a Burkert kill fostering the Owls' run. The Huskies cut the deficit to one after a Temple attack was met by a big-time block by Anagu. After a few more points were exchanged, Maugle had one of her five kills in the set, getting the score to 23-21, but that was the last point the Huskies' scored in the set.
After the intermission, UConn came out firing with a 3-0 start with kills by Ratliff and Strawberry. The Owls went on a 6-0 run after that, which led to a UConn timeout. A Ratliff kill and an attack error by Temple's Matautia gave the Huskies a 12-11 lead. Temple responded with another run, scoring five of the next six points and taking a 16-13 lead that they would not relinquish.
The Huskies will close out the 2013 season with a pair of road matches next week. UConn visits Louisville on Wednesday, Nov. 27 for a 7 p.m. start, then ends the regular season at Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m.