Huskies Take Break From BIG EAST Play, Face Rhode Island and Manhattan




    After playing four consecutive BIG EAST matches, the Huskies have a break from conference play this week against Rhode Island of the Atlantic 10 and Manhattan of the MAAC. UConn travels to Rhode Island on Wednesday, October 17, for a 7 p.m. match and returns home for a match against Manhattan Saturday, October 20, the first of a four-match homestand for the Huskies.

    Scouting Rhode Island

    Although Rhode Island began the season with a six-match losing streak, the Rams have rebounded, winning their last seven matches en route to an overall record of 10-7. Four of those seven wins have come against conference opposition, and, with a 4-0 record, Rhode Island stands undefeated in Atlantic 10 play.

    The Rams are paced by Yolanda Bogacz, who averages a team-leading 3.15 kills and 0.95 blocks per game. Bogacz also leads Rhode Island in attack percentage, hitting .261 this season. Four other Rams register two or more kills per game: Brooke Ecklund (2.67), Amy Kauppila (2.32), Mary Kate Reardon (2.20) and Michelle Fulton (2.15). Ecklund also leads the team in digs per game with 2.95 a contest. The Ram setter is Juliana Valencia, who averages 10.15 assists per game.

    The Rams sport a 14-4 all-time advantage against the Huskies, but UConn has claimed the last two matches, including a 3-0 victory in the schools’ last meeting in 2000.

    A Look Back: BIG EAST Road Trip

    UConn hit the road this past weekend for a pair of BIG EAST matches. Friday night the Huskies faced Pittsburgh, who owned a 9-4 all-time advantage against Connecticut entering the contest, including a 3-0 victory against UConn in 2000. However, the Panthers could not look to history for a victory Friday night. The two squads battled to a 1-1 score before UConn took the last two games to post the 3-1 victory. Junior (Ridgecrest, CA) notched a career-high 28 kills, just missing a double-double with nine digs and registering a blistering .392 hitting percentage. Wooley was not the only Husky standout Friday night; sophomore (Stockton, CA) just missed a triple-double with nine kills, 28 assists and 10 digs while senior setter notched her sixth consecutive double-double with 26 assists and 12 digs.

    Wooley’s strong offensive attack would not cool down two days later when UConn faced West Virginia in Morgantown, WV. Behind Wooley’s 18 kills and .342 hitting percentage, the Huskies rolled to the 3-0 victory, improving their all-time record against the Mountaineers to 8-1. Sophomore (Ridgecrest, CA) added a team-high 15 digs while Erbez and freshman (Benicia, CA) contributed 13 digs apiece in the winning effort. Junior (Lancaster, CA) also had nine blocks.

    On a Tear

    Junior (Ridgecrest, CA) has been dominant in the Huskies’ last four BIG EAST matches. Wooley was named BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week for October 15 for her efforts against Pittsburgh and West Virginia, which included a career-high 28 kills against the Panthers. Over the past four BIG EAST matches, Wooley has racked up 78 kills (5.57 a game), leading the Huskies in kills in each match, 34 digs (2.43 a game), 10 blocks (0.71 a game) and nine service aces (0.64 a game). Her remarkable average of 6.57 kills per game against Pittsburgh and West Virginia propelled the 6’0 outside hitter into first place in the BIG EAST in kills per game in conference matches with an average of 4.78.

    Return to Sender

    Junior middle hitter (Lancaster, CA) and sophomore middle hitter (Marshall, MN) comprise a tough Husky defense at net. The two are ranked fifth and tenth in conference, respectively, in blocks per game. Lambert, who averages 1.28 blocks per game this season, led the Huskies in blocks per game last season with 1.24. In conference matches in 2000, she averaged 1.58, good for first in the conference. Birath averages 1.12 blocks per game this season. As a team, UConn ranks second in the conference in blocks per game with 2.72.

    Career Win #75

    UConn head coach , in just her fourth season at the helm of the Huskies, achieved a career milestone in a 3-0 sweep over West Virginia Sunday. The Huskies’ win over the Mountaineers gave the squad 13 victories this season, bringing Myers’ career total to 75 wins. She began the season with a career record of 62-33 and, after UConn’s 13-4 start, Myers’ career record now stands at 75-37. Last season Myers notched her 50th career victory in a 3-0 blanking of Brown on September 23.