Sept. 21, 2012
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STORRS, Conn. - UConn volleyball opens BIG EAST play at home against Villanova and Georgetown this weekend with a Friday night match-up against the Wildcats at 7:00 pm followed by a 2:00 pm matinee against the Hoyas on Sunday.
Last Time Out
The Huskies exacted some revenge on intrastate rival Sacred Heart with a clean sweep on the road after suffering a 3-1 defeat to the Pioneers at Gampel Pavilion in 2011. UConn won the first set 25-17 and the second 25-19, but were pushed in the third; ultimately taking down SHU, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and 2011, 25-23. Senior outside hitter Mattison Quayle led all players with 10 kills and seven blocks. Junior Jackie Wattles and sophomore Devon Maugle added nine and eight kills, respectively. Senior setter Angela Roidt posted a season-high 30 assists in just her third start of the season. Defensively, senior libero Kelsey Maving led the team with 18 digs, while Maugle was second with nine. Connecticut outhit Sacred Heart, .279 to .152, for the match.
About the Huskies
Connecticut ended the non-conference portion of its schedule with an overall record of 9-6. Last season, the Huskies posted a 10-4 mark outside of the BIG EAST. With the win over Sacred Heart on Wednesday night, UConn finished 2012 with a spotless 3-0 record against opponents from the "Nutmeg State", including earlier wins over Fairfield and Hartford. Senior Mattison Quayle and sophomore Devon Maugle lead the Huskies with 148 kills, apiece. Maugle has posted a .209 hitting percentage and leads the way with 3.44 kills per set.
Digging Her Way to the Top
Senior libero Kelsey Maving entered the season in eighth all-time in career digs at Connecticut and has since risen to fourth in the record book. She became just the fourth player in program history to reach 1,500 digs in her career in last Friday's win over Harvard. Maving enters this weekend with 1,567 career digs. Nationally, Maving entered the weekend ranked eighth in the country with 5.78 digs per set. She also leads the league with a 5.76 average.
Connecticut welcomed four freshmen into the program for the 2012 season, all of which have played a significant role on the court through the first half of the season. Marissa Prinzbach won the starting setter position and has totaled 392 assists (9.56 a/s), including 50 in a four-set win at Hartford. At the net, middle blockers Erika Thomas and Immanuella Anagu have seen regular action in nearly every match. Thomas is second on the team with a .216 kill percentage to go with a 1.51 k/s average and a team-best 1.21 b/s, while Anagu averages 0.94 k/s and 0.72 b/s. On the outside, Madeline Kuppe has totaled 93 kills for a 1.98 average as a regular in the UConn rotation.
Defending Home Court
The Huskies finished the 2011 home slate 9-4 when playing at Gampel Pavilion and 4-3 against BIG EAST opponents on their home floor. UConn won six straight home games between October 4 and November 4, including four against conference foes. Entering league play in 2012, the Huskies are 3-1 in Gampel, including a 2-1 showing at the UConn Classic plus a win over Harvard last Friday.
Through 15 matches, Maugle leads the team with four double-doubles, while Quayle has recorded three. Maugle's first of the season came against Dartmouth with 17 kills and 14 digs. She posted a career-high 19 kills and added 11 digs for her fourth of the year against Northern Illinois on September 8. Quayle reached the 20-kill mark for the third time in her career and picked up 11 digs against UCSB to earn her first double-double during the first weekend of action at the LMU Invitational. Since then, she has posted double-doubles against New Orleans and Northern Illinois.
Scouting the Wildcats
Following a four-match sweep at Arizona State, which included losses to Gonzaga, Florida Atlantic and UC Riverside, Villanova enters BIG EAST play with a 5-8 overall record. Freshman outside hitter Lauren Carpenter leads the Wildcats with 130 kills, averaging 2.72 per set. Junior outside hitter Carly Edwards is a presence at the net, standing at 6-5, averaging 2.15 kills per set and a .243 attack rate on 103 total kills. As a team, Villanova is hitting .152, while opponents are swinging at .175. Freshman Emma Pettit and sophomore Allie DiBernardo have split the setting duties, with Pettit totaling 259 assists and a 7.40 assist per set average. Junior Mariah Henley has owned the libero spot and totaled 262 digs, 5.46 per set.
Scouting the Hoyas
Georgetown is 6-7 on the season and losers of six straight entering BIG EAST play. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Johnson leads the Hoya attack with 194 kills (4.13 k/s) and is tops on the team with 174 digs (3.70 d/s). Sophomore middle blocker Dani White is hitting a team-best .298 on 139 kills and averages 1.14 blocks per set. In the middle of the offense, junior setter Haley Lowrence is among the league leaders with 11.60 assists per set to go with 2.23 d/s.
The Huskies are in action just once next week when they visit St. John's for a 2:00 pm contest on Saturday, September 29.