STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut volleyball team kicked off its 2014 campaign on Wednesday as the squad held its annual Blue vs. White scrimmage at Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies, who are in the midst of preseason camp, open the regular season in eight days at the UConn Classic.
Junior Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) led the offensive attack for the Blue Team, which took home a four set victory (25-18, 25-23, 19-15, 15-11). Thomas registered a game-high 16 kills and a .163 hitting percentage. Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) added nine kills and four service aces, while Amy Christensen (Ashburn, Va.), who served as the team's libero, posted 25 digs and a pair of service aces. Sophomore transfer Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) notched 42 assists in the victory.
Freshman Kenya Cason (Columbus, Ohio) impressed for the White Team, compiling 14 kills and a .244 hitting percentage in her first appearance in a Husky uniform. Immanuella Anagu chipped in six kills and a team-best eight total blocks. Senior libero Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.) posted 24 digs and Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) connected for a team-high two service aces to go along with eight kills and 12 digs.
The first set opened up even with the teams trading points until a pair of kills by Anagu and Cason forced the Blue Team to take a timeout, trailing 10-7. Blue responded with a 10-6 run to build its lead to 20-15 before White called a timeout. After the breather, the Blue Team took advantage of two White attack errors before Camille Evans (Chicago, Ill.) sealed the set with a kill.
White jumped out to an early lead in the second set but Maugle slammed down two kills for Blue, bringing the score to six-all. The Blue Team went on a 6-3 run to claim a 12-9 lead before three Cason kills helped White rally to a 15-13 edge. Blue ratted off a 7-2 run, courtesy of three Thomas kills and claimed the second set, 25-23, after two White service errors.
The White Team came out strong in the third set, staking itself to a 9-4 lead. Blue pulled even at 11-11 but White again responded with a 10-4 run to go up 21-15. Two Cason kills pushed the score to 23-17 before Anagu and Strawberry combined for a block to give the White Team a 25-19 set victory.
The fourth set, which the coaching staff determined would be played to 15, started airtight with the teams trading points at 9-9. A Maugle kill gave Blue a 10-9 lead and the squad didn't look back, scoring five of the next seven points to win the set, 15-11.
The Huskies will open the 2014 regular season on Friday, August 29 when they host Central Connecticut, Indiana, and New Hampshire for the UConn Classic. Fans unable to attend the match will be able to follow the Huskies during the first weekend by visiting UConnHuskies.com