Non-conference win helps Huskies get back on track
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 23:10
The UConn volleyball team got back to its winning ways Tuesday, as the Huskies rebounded from four straight losses to down non-conference foe Sacred Heart in a five-set thriller.
The Huskies were led by the trio of Karson Ratliff, Erika Thomas and Immanuella Anagu, each of whom contributed 10 kills to the UConn attack. Defensively, the Huskies received major contributions from Brianna Datti and Sophia Mar, who combined for 29 digs.
With the victory, the Huskies move to 9-10 on the season. UConn will now focus solely on conference play, as the Pioneers were the last non-conference foe on the Husky schedule.
UConn getting used to marathons
The Huskies are getting used to back-and-forth affairs, as four of their past six contests have gone five sets.
The Huskies have compiled a 2-4 record in those six matchups, but coach Holly Strauss-O’Brien is pleased with what she has seen from her team.
“We’re resilient,” said Strauss-O’Brien. “We have a choice to make. We can be upset and be victims to the fact that we have some starters injured and on the bench, or we can rise up to the challenge and be a team and play hard together. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing.”
Injuries to Maugle and Strawberry leave Huskies depleted
The Huskies were able to take down Sacred Heart with a balanced attack, despite missing two regular starters in Jade Strawberry and Devon Maugle.
The pair of outside hitters have been major contributors for the Huskies all season, combining for 265 kills on the season.
Strauss-O’Brien is optimistic about Maugle returning in the near future, as the junior captain is a huge part of the Husky attack.
“She’s making progress, but she’s still on crutches right now,” said Strauss-O’Brien. “Health is a priority, to get that kid healthy.”
However, a recent injury to Strawberry looks like it will sideline the freshman for the immediate future.
“She was recently diagnosed with a stress fracture,” said Strauss-O’Brien. “We have no idea when we’re going to have her back.”
Huskies looking to right the ship in conference play
UConn has come out of the gates to a less than ideal start in its inaugural American Athletic Conference campaign, as the Huskies have dropped their first four matchups.
However, a non-conference victory over Sacred Heart will be one that O’Brien hopes gives her team the confidence that is required through the vigors of conference play.
“We’ve had to juggle our lineup around the last two weeks,” said the eighth-year head coach. “Now we’re in a good place where we’ve figured it out. We have a scrappy Rutgers on Friday night, and hopefully this gives us the confidence and momentum to take care of business.”