Oct. 5, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - After just one match last week, BIG EAST play resumes with a pair of road contests for the University of Connecticut volleyball team. The Huskies open play against Notre Dame at 2:00 pm on Saturday, followed by a 3:00 pm tilt at DePaul on Sunday afternoon.
Last Time Out
UConn was narrowly defeated in all three sets of a 3-0 loss at St. John's, last Saturday. The Huskies fell by scores of 25-20, 25-21 and 25-21. Senior outside hitter Mattison Quayle led all players with 12 kills. Collectively, Connecticut hit just .184 for the match, while the Red Storm registered a .309 kill percentage. Senior libero Kelsey Maving registered a match-high 13 digs. Freshman Marissa Prinzbach and senior Angela Roidt split the setting duties with Prinzbach dishing out a team-leading 17 assists, to Roidt's 14. The loss came after UConn's first 2-0 start in the BIG EAST since 2004.
About the Huskies
After racing out to its best start in league action in the Holly Strauss-O'Brien era, Connecticut is in the BIG EAST and 11-7 overall. Senior outside hitter Mattison Quayle leads the UConn attack with 186 kills (3.05) and is third on the team with 142 digs (2.33). Sophomore outside hitter Devon Maugle is not far behind with 183 kills (3.39 k/s) to go with 120 digs (2.22 d/s). Freshman Marissa Prinzbach has served as the team's starting setter for most of the season and has totaled 409 assists (9.51 a/s).
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 a career in a win over Harvard (9/14). Maving enters this weekend with 1,621 career digs. Nationally, Maving entered the weekend ranked 10th in the country with 5.61 digs per set, which is second among BIG EAST players.
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. Prinzbach returned to the Husky lineup last Saturday following an injury and recorded 17 assists. At the net, middle blockers Erika Thomas and Immanuella Anagu have seen regular action in nearly every match. Thomas is averaging a team-best 1.21 b/s to go with 1.40 k/s, while Anagu averages 1.13 k/s and 0.72 b/s. On the outside, Madeline Kuppe has totaled 109 kills for a 2.02 average as a regular in the UConn rotation.
Scouting the Fighting Irish
Notre Dame holds a 10-6 overall record and stands at 3-1 in the BIG EAST. Sophomore outside hitter Toni Alugbue leads the attack with 247 kills (3.92 k/s), while hitting .277 and averaging 2.27 digs per set. Hitting from the right side, fellow sophomore Jeni Houser attacks at a team-leading .318 on 215 kills (3.41 k/s). Junior setter Maggie Brindock averages 9.16 assists per set, while freshman libero Taylor Morey averages 4.17 digs per set. The Irish opened the 2012 BIG EAST slate with wins over the top two teams from 2011. Notre Dame scored 3-2 victories on the road against both Cincinnati and No. 10 Louisville. ND returned home for a five-set loss to Marquette and rebounded with a sweep of Syracuse.
Scouting the Blue Demons
DePaul enters the weekend 6-10 overall and 1-2 in league action. Prior to Sunday's contest, the Blue Demons take on St. John's at home. DePaul earned its first league win of the season against Syracuse last Saturday, 3-1. Junior outside hitter Vesela Zapryanova leads the team with 195 kills (3.10 k/s), while junior middle blocker Natalie Rizzo has recorded a team-high .347 kill percentage. Sophomore Laura Witt and freshman Aubree Hord have split the setting duties this season. Witt averages 6.89 assists per set and Hord 4.43.
The Huskies return home for a pair of home matches against Cincinnati and Louisville. The action gets underway on Friday, October 12 against the Bearcats at 4:00 pm. The contest will take place as a part of the UConn basketball "First Night" festivities at Gampel Pavilion.