Erika Thomas and the Huskies will look for their first tournament title of the season
Sept. 12, 2013
STORRS, Conn. -- Fresh off a hosting run at the 2013 UConn Classic last weekend, the UConn women's volleyball team (3-4, 0-0 American) gets back to being a guest this weekend when it travels to Atlanta, Ga. to take part in Georgia Tech's Courtyard Classic. The Huskies will face Troy at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, then battle St. John's and the host Yellow Jackets at 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14.
The Courtyard Classic marks the third in-season tournament for Connecticut this year. UConn most recently competed the 2013 rendition of the UConn Classic, where it finished in third place. The Huskies picked up a sweep against Albany, but lost five-set thrillers to Northeastern and then Pittsburgh in the tournament championship game.
The trip to Atlanta will be the first time UConn has visited the state of Georgia, and the Huskies have never played a team from the Peach State.
The Courtyard Classic is regular-season tournament three of four the Huskies, as they will participate in the Dartmouth Duel on Sept. 20 and 21 following the trip to Atlanta. All but two of UConn’s non-conference games will come in tournament play, with the lone exceptions being home contests against local rivals Hartford and Sacred Heart.
Connecticut has never faced Georgia Tech or Troy, but is quite familiar with St. John’s from UConn’s BIG EAST days. The Huskies are 11-9 all-time against the Red Storm.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The Trojans come into the Courtyard Classic with a 3-4 record, after participating in a pair of early-season tournament. Troy went 1-2 in both the Southern Miss Invitational and the Active Ankles Challenge at Auburn, picking up wins against Jackson State and Mercer in tournament play. The Trojans also swept Georgia Southern in their lone home game of the year. Troy’s offense is led by Marija Zelenovic, who has 97 kills (3.59/set) on the year. Kiah Cheatham adds 2.04 kills/set with team-highs in hitting percentage (.301) and total blocks (26), and was named the Sun Belt Rookie of the Week on Monday. Courtney Cohen paces the squad with 4.74 digs/set, while Alexandra Alexander dishes out a team-best 8.11 assists/set.
UConn’s old BIG EAST rival is off to a 5-3 start in 2013, after back-to-back sweeps over Brown and Stony Brook in its last two contests. The Johnnies’ offense is led by Karin Palgutova, who leads the BIG EAST with 116 kills and is second in the conference with 4.0/set, while hitting .303. Palgutova was named to the league’s weekly honor roll on Monday. Aleksandra Wachowicz chips in 3.22 kils/set, attacking at a .267 clip and has posted a team-high 11 service aces. Shawna-Lei Santos leads the Red Storm with 120 digs on the year, posting 4.44/set, and Palgutova has scooped 51. Deniz Mutlguil spearheads the St. John’s attack by dishing out 9.56 assists per set, and Amy Zimmer leads the blocking corps with 34 total blocks, 1.42/set.
The Host Yellow Jackets are 3-3 this year, and will be hosting their second tournament of the year after going 2-1 in the season-opening Georgia Tech invitational. GT most recently went 1-2 in the Lobo Classic at New Mexico, picking up a win vs. UC Riverside. They are led by Jennifer Percy, Ivona Kolak and Teegan Van Gunst, who each average more than 2.4 kills/set. Kaleigh Colson and Rebecca Martin average 7.24 and 6.71 assists per frame, respectively, while Colson has a team-high 51 digs. Quinn Evans has a team-high 1.39 blocks/set, third in the ACC.
UCONN TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
|9/14||St. John's||12 p.m.||Link|
|9/14||Georgia Tech||7 p.m.||Link|
After Atlanta, UConn goes to the Dartmouth Duel in Hanover, N.H. the following weekend to take on three New England foes, as well No. 3 Minnesota.