STORRS, Conn. – The UConn volleyball team will closeout its four-game homestand with a pair of conference matches this weekend. The Huskies will entertain Tulane Friday, Oct. 27 (7 p.m.) before hosting Houston on Oct. 29 in a Sunday matinee (12 p.m.).
Catching Up With UConn
UConn is currently 3-7 in conference action after dropping its two most recent contests. Last weekend, the Huskies were swept by SMU and Tulsa in straight sets to fall to 10-12 overall on the season.
Redshirt-sophomore Kayla Williams is pacing all Huskies in kills and aces, tallying 305 and 31, respectively, while posting a team-high 12 double-doubles this fall. Williams leads the American with 0.41 aces per set and 4.65 points per set, while her 4.01 kills per set rank second overall. The outside hitter is the league leader in kills (4.88) and points (5.47) per set in conference-only matches this fall. Junior setter Emma Turner sits fourth in the American, tallying 9.87 helpers per set.
Scouting the Competition
Tulane (12-11) comes to Storrs riding an eight-game losing streak. After starting their conference slate with a 1-1 clip, the Green Wave dropped its following eight games to own a 1-9 mark in American action. Tulane’s Justine Bowers’ 0.36 aces per set are second in the conference to only UConn’s Kayla Williams. Friday’s contest will mark the eighth meeting between the two squads in the sport of volleyball, as the Huskies own a 5-2 lead in the all-time series.
The Cougars improved to 8-10 overall and 4-6 in the American thanks to a pair of conference wins last week. Houston snapped a three-game skid after taking down Florida rivals UCF, 3-1, and USF, 3-0. As a team, the Cougars are holding conference opponents to a third-best .185 hitting percentage, while racking up 13.15 kills per game to sit third in the conference. UConn and Houston will meet for the ninth time on Sunday, as the all-time series is knotted, 4-4.
Did You Know
UConn has given up the fewest amount of digs to conference opponents this year, while outside hitter Kayla Willims leads the conference and ranks in the nation’s top-50 in service aces and points per set. Williams is the conference leader in league matches in kills (4.88) and points (5.47) per set. Seven out of 10 of the Huskies’ wins have been sweep victories. Head coach Kris Grunwald is just five wins away from reaching the 100 career wins milestone.
Through 20 games so far this season, outside hitter Kayla Williams is notching single season career-highs in both assists (31) and aces (31). Junior setter Emma Turner is turning in career best numbers as well, posting 64 kills after recording just six in her first two seasons at UConn.
Redshirt-sophomore Kayla Williams has been tabbed to the American Weekly Honor Roll twice this season. Williams was mostly recently named to the honor roll on Oct. 17 after notching a team-best 4.67 kills per set and 4.50 digs per set on the weekend. The outside hitter tallied her first distinction of the season on Oct. 2, following a team-best 5.00 kills per set performance.
Junior libero Kennedy Arundel was named the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week on August 28, following her performance at the St. John’s Invitational. Arundel played in all 12 sets during the invitational, recording a team-high 65 digs and 5.42 digs per set, while picking up three assists and two aces.