STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut volleyball team wrapped up its 2014 season in style, sweeping Tulane, 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-21), on Friday night at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies conclude their season at 12-19 (5-15, The American), while the Green Wave end the year at 5-27 (3-17, The American).
Connecticut honored its five seniors Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.), Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.), Amy Christensen (Ashburn, Va.) and Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) with a ceremony prior to first serve. The four-year letterwinners helped UConn secure 59 wins over the past four seasons, including a first-place finish at the 2014 Bucknell Tournament in September.
Senior tri-captain Maugle ended her Husky career on a high-note, posting a team-best 10 kills on 33 swings and scooping 16 digs. Freshman Kenya Cason posted a strong nine-kill, 12-dig match and junior middle blocker Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) was a force at the end, notching three block assists to go along with eight kills. Esposito dished out 16 assists and recorded 11 digs and Hayley Cmjadalka connected for seven kills and a game-best .417 hitting percentage.
UConn wasted no time gaining a lead in the first set, charging out 7-2 after a kill from Thomas, who notched five slams in the frame, and an ace from Datti. The Green Wave answered, fighting back to within two but a 4-to-0 run, headed by an ace from Jade Strawberry pushed the Husky lead back to 13-8. Consecutive kills from Maugle forced Tulane into its second timeout of the frame and the Huskies capitalized out of the break, scoring the final four points of the set to win, 25-14.
The Huskies found themselves down 4-0 early in the second but drew even at five after rattling off four-straight with Datti serving. Tulane called for a breather before UConn grabbed its first advantage of the set after Cason and Thomas delivered consecutive kills. The Husky lead stretched to four following a Green Wave attack error and the teams went point-for-point before Cmajdalka registered her third kill of the set to give the Huskies the win, 25-20.
The third set began with back-and-forth play until UConn took a 7-5 edge following a pair of Rivera service aces. A Tulane attack error drew the first timeout of the set and UConn pushed the offense out of the break, moving head by four after Maugle recorded a kill. Tulane drew within three at 22-19 but Maugle finished off her career with her sixth kill of the set and gave UConn a 25-21 win to clinch the match.
Stay tuned to UConnHuskies.com throughout the offseason for a full 2014 season recap, offseason features and much more.