STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut volleyball team will kick-off the 2015 Dog Pound Challenge tournament in Harry A. Gampel Pavilion on Friday, Sept. 4 when it hosts Bryant at 12:30 p.m.
James Madison, UMBC and Bryant will all make the trip to Storrs for the six-game tournament. The Huskies will close out Friday with a 7:30 p.m. match with UMBC before making a quick turnaround to face JMU on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Fans unable to attend the matches can follow along live via Gametracker links posted above. In addition, there will be live video streams which can be accessed by CLICKING HERE.
Connecticut (1-2) opened the 2015 season last weekend and finished third when it hosted the 2015 UConn Invitational, which included Hartford, Rhode Island and Syracuse. The Huskies won their season opener on Saturday with a 3-0 win over Hartford before falling 3-1 to Rhode Island later that night. UConn closed the tournament with a 3-1 loss to Syracuse.
Junior Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) led the offensive attack for the Huskies with 30 kills on the weekend. Senior captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) was close behind with 29 kills. Junior Rebecca Rivera (Mississauga, Ontario) has a team-high 63 assists while freshman Emma Turner (Winter Park, Fla.) stands second on the team with 55 assists. Classmate Kennedy Arundel (Chicago, Ill.) tops the squad with 62 digs.
Bryant and UConn have met just once before on the court, with the Huskies coming away with a four-set victory behind Strawberry’s double-double performance (15 digs, 11 kills) last year. This season, the Bulldogs are off to a 4-0 start, headlined by sophomore Vika Nesterov, who has 39 kills (2.60 kills/set). As a team, Bryant is hitting .252 and 2.10 blocks/set through four matches.
The Huskies and Retrievers have met five times, with UConn holding a 5-0 advantage in the all-time series. The two teams have not played since the 2003 season when the Huskies took home a 3-0 win. UMBC is coming off a 3-2 loss to Robert Morris last weekend and holds a 2-1 record thus far.
Saturday’s match between UConn and JMU will be the first meeting between the two squads in eight years. The Huskies have a slight 3-2 all-time series edge, including a four-set victory for UConn in the last meeting (Sept. 1, 2007). Overall, the Dukes have won three of their last four games this season.
In conjunction with the Dog Pound Challenge, the Sigma Alpha Sorority in the Department of Animal Science is raising money for local animal rescues. They have already raised over $1,200 and need help to make even more of an impact. To make a donation and for more information fans can visit www.gofundme.com/eashelterfund.
Also, the Bloomfield Animal Hospital, Colchester Veterinary Hospital and North Veterinary Clinic are organizing a rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. near the Jonathan Statue outside of Gampel Pavilion. Fans can bring their leashed dogs and cats in carriers for a rabies vaccination at the reduced fee of $10.