JAMAICA, N.Y. – The University of Connecticut volleyball team split a pair of decisions on day one of the St. John’s Invitational to open up the 2017 season. The Huskies (1-1) dropped their season opener, 3-2, against Sacramento State this afternoon, before bouncing back and cruising to a 3-1 victory against New Hampshire on Friday night.
Redshirt-sophomore Kayla Williams paced the team with 26 kills on the day. Redshirt freshman Genna Florig and freshmen Elizabeth Kline, Ally Barrett and Courtney Morris all made their collegiate debuts this afternoon.
Sacramento State Recap
UConn (0-1) opened up the season against Sacramento State in a tough, five-set match. After dropping the first two sets to the Hornets (25-13, 25-22), the Huskies fought back to claim the following two sets (25-16, 15-7) and force a winner-take-all fifth set. Despite a set-high two kills by Williams and senior Kenya Cason, the squad dropped the final set to their opponents, 15-7.
In its first match of the day, UConn was led by Williams and senior Danielle Cabel who posted 14 kills apiece, while junior Kennedy Arundel led the way with 29 digs. Junior Emma Turner posted a team-high 28 assists in the loss, hile the team finished the match with a .165 hitting percentage.
New Hampshire Recap
UConn found their groove in their second match at the St. John’s Invitation, taking down New Hampshire in four sets (29-7, 18-25, 25-13, 25-15) for their first win of the season. Williams continued to show dominance on the court, tallying a team-high 12 kills in the match. Additionally, Florig notched nine kills of her own, setting a new personal best.
The Huskies did not trail once in the fourth in final set, taking a commanding 10-3 lead out the gate. Aided by the team’s .480 hitting percentage in the final set, the squad sailed to a 25-14 win to secure the 3-1 victory.
UConn held the slight edge over the Wildcats in kills, 52-49, but as a team the Huskies recorded seven team blocks, to New Hampshire’s two
UConn will wrap up the St. John’s Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 26 at 5:00 p.m. The Huskies will look to wrap up tournament play with a win, as they are set to battle the host team, St. John, in the final match of the tournament.