Sept. 22, 2011
STORRS, Conn. - The Huskies’ run of early-season tournaments came to an end following a three-game stretch at the Hokie Classic leading up to the start of BIG EAST play for the University of Connecticut women’s volleyball team. UConn kicks off the conference slate with a pair of road games at Cincinnati and Louisville on September 23 and 25. Friday’s game against the Bearcats will start at 7:30 pm, while Sunday’s contest against the Cardinals begins at 2:00 pm.
Last Time Out
Connecticut improved to 8-5 on the season with a 2-1 showing at the Hokie Classic. The Huskies opened the weekend with a 3-0 win over Tennessee-Chattanooga on Friday evening and followed it up with a 3-1 win over Virginia on Saturday afternoon, before falling to the host Virginia Tech. Senior Jordan Kirk and freshman Devon Maugle each recorded a double-double in the win over the Cavaliers. Kirk scored a team-high 18 kills to go with 12 digs, while Maugle posted numbers of 12 and 12. Junior Mattison Quayle tallied a game-high 18 kills in the four set loss to the Hokies.
Strauss-O’Brien Earns 100th Career Victory
With a three-set victory over New Hampshire at the Holly Young Invitational September 10, the Huskies gave head coach Holly Strauss-O’Brien her 100th career victory. Strauss-O’Brien became the 10th active BIG EAST coach to reach the 100-win milestone.
On The Road To 1,000
Senior Jordan Kirk needs only 33 kills to reach the 1,000 kill milestone for her career, as she currently has 967 after posting a team-high 39 last weekend. Over the past three seasons she has posted 230 or more kills each year, including a career-high of 298 as a sophomore. Kirk would be the 12th Husky to reach the 1,000 kill mark and the fourth under head coach Holly Strauss-O’Brien.
Three Huskies have posted double-doubles so far this season, as freshman Devon Maugle registered the first of her career with a 12 and 12 effort against Virginia. Jordan Kirk posted her fourth of the season against the Cavaliers, including a season-high 18 kills. Quayle tallied 18 kills and 12 digs against Virginia Tech for her second straight weekend with a double-double.
Maving’s Defensive Efforts
Junior libero Kelsey Maving tallied 51 digs this weekend to push her season total to 219. Against Fairfield (September 9), she recorded a season-high 30 digs and has now posted 30 or more digs three times throughout her career. Maving also accomplished the feat once as a freshman and once as a sophomore. She is the sixth BIG EAST student-athlete to post at least 30 digs in a match this season, while Villanova’s Kim Maroon tallied a season-best of 36 against Delaware. For her career, Maving is closing in on her 1,000 career dig as she currently has 920.
Scouting the Bearcats
Cincinnati enters BIG EAST play with an overall record of 8-6. The Bearcats scored a five-set win over Evansville on Tuesday in their only home match so far this season. Last weekend Cincy was swept by Illinois and Purdue in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. Prior to that Cincinnati went 2-1 at the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii and posted a perfect 3-0 at the North Texas Tournament on Labor Day Weekend. Senior OH Missy Harpenau has registered a team-high 174 kills and 135 digs, second best on the team. Freshman Caylin Mahoney has dished out 517 assists and has proved to be a dangerous scorer from the setter position with 33 kills for a .500 hitting percentage. Sophomore libero Emily MacIntyre leads the way with 178 digs. The Huskies are 1-6 all-time against the Bearcats, earning their only win, 3-2, back in 2008.
Scouting the Cardinals
Louisville suffered the same fate as Cincinnati at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge with a pair of 3-2 losses to Purdue and Illinois to drop to 8-4 on the season. The Cardinals open league action at home against St. John’s on Friday night. In tournament play, the Cardinals posted 3-0 records at the Ohio Bobcat Classic and at their own Crowne Plaza Cardinal Classic. Junior OH Lola Arslanbekova leads the UofL attack with 207 kills and a .271 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Taylor Brauneis has 465 assists and a team-best 16 service aces. UConn and Louisville have met on the court seven times, with the Cardinals taking each match.
The Huskies return home for a stretch of three games at Gampel Pavilion to start the month of October. UConn faces BIG EAST opponents Marquette and Syracuse on October 1 and 2, before hosting in-state opponent Hartford on October 4. The Huskies are 3-1 when playing on their home court this season, the lone loss coming in four sets to intrastate rival Sacred Heart on September 6.