Sept. 26, 2013
Game Notes (PDF)
STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn women's volleyball team (8-6, 0-0 American) begins conference play on Friday night when it hosts Southern Methodist (8-5, 0-0 American) at Gampel Pavilion, before Houston (7-7, 0-0 American) visits Storrs on Sunday afternoon. The two league contests mark the first for UConn in the inaugural American Athletic Conference.
UConn recently completed its fourth of four in-season tournaments, going 3-1 at the Dartmouth Duel last weekend. The Huskies picked up victories over New Hampshire, host Dartmouth, and Rhode Island at Leede Arena. UConn fell in four sets against No. 9 Minnesota, but became one of just two teams this season to win a set against the Golden Gophers.
Erika Thomas and Devon Maugle were named to the All-Tournament Team at the Dartmouth Duel. Thomas totalled 40 kills and 19 total blocks over the four matches, setting career-highs in hitting percentage (.545 vs. UNH) and kills (17 vs. URI). Maugle posted 42 kills and 41 digs in the tournament, with a pair of double-doubles. Thomas was also named to the weekly American Honor Roll on Monday.
UConn will face two of its most unfamiliar new conference foes this weekend. The Huskies and Mustangs have played once before, a 3-1 SMU victory on Sept. 25, 1999. UConn and Houston have never previously met.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
SMU heads to Storrs with an 8-5 record on the year, having recently competed in a tournament at the College of Charleston, where it went 2-1 with wins over the host and Alabama A&M and a loss to Ball State. The Mustangs were led in the tournament by Caroline Young, who averaged over four kills a set there en route to being named The American Player of the Week. Young leads SMU on the year with 162 total kills, good for 3.31/set, while hitting a strong .253 overall. Maddie Lozano supports her with 2.23 kills/set, hitting .284 and leading the team with 1.06 blocks/set. Morgan Heise leads the team with 3.39 digs/set, and Avery Acker paces the offense by dishing out 10.70 assists per frame. The Mustangs have five players who average at least two kills per set, and as a team post 13.2 per frame, third in The American. They are also second in the league in hitting percentage and third in assists.
The Cougars descend on Gampel with a 7-7 record this year, most recently falling to North Texas, LSU and Baylor in a tournament hosted at Houston. After starting the year 7-1, Houston has lost six in a row. Sarita Mikals leads the Cougar attack with 3.43 kills/set, the sixth best mark in The American. Cortney Warren averages an even 3.00 a game, and Kadi Kullerkann chips in 2.65/set. Emily Howard is also over two and is among the top-ten in The American with a .275 hitting percentage. Hunter Wise leads the HU blockers with 0.79 blocks/set, and Natalie Keck is first on the squad with 3.73 digs/set.
A LOOK AHEAD
After this weekend’s contests, UConn hits the road for the first time in conference play with a two-game trip the Sunshine State, where it will take on Central Florida and South Florida. All but one of the remaining games on the UConn schedule will come in league play, with the lone exception being an Oct. 8 home date with Sacred Heart.