Aug. 25, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut volleyball team will open the 2011 season this weekend when they travel to Fort Worth, Texas for the TCU Tournament. During the two-day tournament the Huskies will face Grambling State, Texas Tech and the host Horned Frogs. UConn will open the weekend with a 5:30 p.m. EST contest against Grambling State on Friday (Aug. 26) and will then face Texas Tech at 11:30 a.m. EST on Saturday (Aug. 27) before facing TCU in the tournament finale at 8:00 p.m. EST.
The contests against Grambling State and Texas Tech will mark the first against the teams in program history, while the UConn vs. TCU match will be the third meeting between the two teams. The Huskies won the first contest 3-0 in 2001, while the Horned Frogs claimed the most recent victory, a 3-2 win during the 2009 season.
Gametracker will be available for all three matches this weekend, while fans will also be able to watch Saturday's TCU match live on the web. Links for both gametracker and the webstream can be found on the UConn volleyball schedule page, or by CLICKING HERE.
2011 Season Preview
Outside/Right Side Hitters
The outside and right side will be UConn's deepest positions this season, as four veterans return in Jordan Kirk (Plano, Texas), Mattison Quayle (Los Angeles, Calif.), Cayla Broadwater (Williamsport, Md.) and Julia Hamer (Burlington, Ont.). The four returners will be joined by two incoming freshmen; Karson Ratliff (Wake Forest, N.C.), a former Under Armour Preseason All-American nominee and Devon Maugle (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), a 2010 all-district honoree.
Kirk will be a mainstay for the Huskies on the outside, as she returns for her senior season after posting 234 kills last year to rank second on the team.
As sophomores, Quayle and Broadwater were two of five Huskies to tally 100 or more kills last season, while they also made an impact on the UConn defense; Quayle averaging 2.17 digs per set and Broadwater posting 0.45 blocks per set.
Through 18 matches played as a freshman, Hamer posted a .153 hitting percentage last season and will be a leading force at both the outside and right side positions.
Senior Allison Nickel (Pittsford, N.Y.) will be UConn's key middle hitter this season, after posting 91 kills and 62 blocks last year.
Nickel, who was second on the team in blocks, will once again be called upon to be a leader for the UConn offense as she is joined in the middle by sophomores Colby Billhardt (Darien, Conn.) and Jackie Wattles (Liberty Hill, Texas). Last season, Billhardt and Wattles saw action in just 12 matches combined and will rely on the leadership of Nickel to continue the dominance of UConn's middle hitters.
This season's offense will be driven by junior setter Angela Roidt (McFarland, Wis.), who captained last year's squad as the Huskies tallied 1,029 kills. In her first season at UConn, Roidt averaged 9.12 assists per set while also posting a .231 hitting percentage.
Backing up Roidt at the setter position will be three-time All-League honoree and incoming freshman Katie Robinson (Los Altos, Calif.).
Kelsey Maving (Tonawanda, N.Y.) will once again serve as the backbone of the Husky defense as she will be UConn's primary libero for the upcoming season. She led the Huskies with 4.85 digs per set last year, recording 465 total digs on the season. Maving's experience in the back court will serve as a great asset to the three newcomers who will be joining her this year as part of the UConn defense.
The three newcomers include Sage Esposito (Milford, Conn.), Amy Christensen (Ashburn, Va.) and Brianna Datti (Durham, N.H.). This trio will immediately impact UConn's back court, as they bring with them multiple honors and accolades, including seven all-state selections during their high school campaigns.