STORRS, Conn. – After spending the past month on the road, the University of Connecticut volleyball team returns to Harry A. Gampel Pavilion to host Cincinnati and Memphis in American Athletic Conference matches. The Huskies will take on the Bearcats on Friday at 7 p.m. before closing out the weekend with a 1 p.m. match against the Tigers on Sunday.
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UConn (6-7, 0-2 The American) is coming off a tough weekend in Florida, falling in back-to-back conference matches to UCF and USF. Senior captain Erika Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) tallied 21 kills on a .375 hitting percentage over the weekend. Thomas also posted six blocks, bringing her to 357 career blocks to move past Rebecca Murray ’10 and stand sixth among Connecticut’s all-time career leaders. Sophomore Danielle Cabel (Bettendorf, Iowa) notched a career-high 10 kills while freshman Elizabeth Kline (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added a career-best 18 digs against the Bulls.
Through 13 matches, senior Immanuella Anagu (Culver City, Calif.) ranks fifth in The American in hitting percentage (.337) and fourth in blocks per set (1.07). Junior Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee, Fla.) averages 0.38 aces/set, which is third in the league. Freshman Kennedy Arundel (Chicago, Ill.) is ninth in digs/set (4.07). As a team, UConn is 72nd nationally and fourth in the conference with 1.51 aces/set.
Friday’s outing between the Huskies and Bearcats will be the fifteenth meeting, with Cincinnati (9-4, 1-1 The American) holding a 10-4 all-time series lead. Last season, UConn split a home-and-home with the Bearcats, winning their final meeting 3-2 in Ohio. This season, Cincinnati is second in the conference in hitting percentage (.234), blocks/set (2.29) and digs/set (16.46). The Bearcats’ Maya Muldrow checks in at No. 2 in the league with 1.17 blocks/set.
Memphis (10-5, 1-1 The American) sports a 4-1 all-time series edge against the Huskies and claimed both of last year’s meetings. The Tigers top the conference with 87 aces (1.58/set) and are third in digs (16.25/set). Memphis’ Catlin Lilly ranks second with 0.41 aces/set.
Although the Huskies have spent the majority of the season on the road, UConn has put together a 3-1 record at home, including winning three-straight to claim the 2015 Dog Pound Challenge title.