Erika Thomas is one of two Huskies from Florida
Oct. 3, 2013
Game Notes (PDF)
STORRS, Conn. -- The UConn women's volleyball team (8-8, 0-2 American) hits the road for the first time in conference play this weekend when it travels to Florida for games at UCF (10-4, 1-0 American) and USF (6-9, 0-1 American). The Huskies take on the Knights on Friday at 7 p.m. before a Sunday 2 p.m. matinee with the Bulls.
The Florida trip is a homecoming for two Huskies, with Jade Strawberry (Tallahassee) and Erika Thomas (Ocoee) hailing from the state. Both have been key starters in the UConn rotation this season.
UConn has faced South Florida nine times in the past, as the two were both members of the BIG EAST conference until this season. The Huskies are 7-2 all-time against the Bulls, and have won four of the last five contests in the series. Last year, UConn took home a 3-2 victory in Tampa. Connecticut has only faced UCF once in the past, a 3-1 victory for the Knights on Sept. 13, 1997.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The Knights host the Huskies with a 10-4 record this season, including an 8-1 mark on their home floor. UCF is 4-3 in its last seven contests after winning six of seven to open the season. Most recently, the Knights won their conference opener against USF last Friday. The UCF attack is led by Aneglica Crump and DeLaina Sarden, two of the top hitters in The America. Crump leads the league with 4.00 kills/set, while Sarden is fourth with 3.51/s thanks to a conference-best .453 hitting percentage. Sarden’s hitting percentage is eighth overall in the NCAA. Marie Reiterova leads the conference with 11.75 assists/set to pace the offense, a mark that is ninth best in the nation. Jade Hayes leads the way for UCF with 4.08 digs/set, fifth in The American, and Kaye-Alese is also fifth in the league with 1.08 blocks/set. UCF leads the conference in kills (13.98/s), hitting percentage (.270) and assists (13.28/s). Those marks are 34th, 22nd and 22nd nationally, respectively.
USF is 6-9 on the year, and has lost four of five after falling to UCF in the conference opener. The Bulls are led on offense and defense by Erin Fairs, who is among the top-150 nationally in both digs and kills. Fairs is fourth in The American with 4.34 digs/set, and seventh in the conference with 3.38 kills/set. Jennica Mullins leads the USF blockers with 1.11 blocks/set, propelling the Bulls to a league-high 2.52/set. That mark is 56th in the nation, and USF is also among the NCAA’s best in team digs, scooping 16.38/set. In addition to Fairs, Amy Van Sant averages 3.75 digs/set and Dakota Hampton scoops 3.05.
A LOOK AHEAD
After this weekend, UConn returns home to close out its non-conference slate with a visit from Sacred Heart on Oct. 8. The Huskies then welcome Rutgers for their lone conference game of next weekend, with the Scarlet Knights coming to Storrs on Friday, Oct. 11.