UConn takes on St. John's
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 22:09
The UConn volleyball team looks to continue its best start to the Big East season since 2004 when it travels to St. John’s on Saturday.
The Huskies are 2-0 in conference play after beating both Villanova and Georgetown 3-1 last weekend at Gampel Pavilion and pushed their overall record to 11-6. With the early season success, UConn is easily on pace to better their 2011 season, when the Huskies finished 14-15 overall and 4-10 in the Big East.
UConn’s incredible improvement can be pegged on its experience and stellar play on both sides of the ball, particularly on offense. With two double-doubles last weekend, senior Mattison Quayle was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. Quayle had 13 kills and 16 digs against Villanova and 13 kills and 13 digs against Georgetown.
Sophomore Devon Maugle has teamed up with Quayle this season to terrorize opposing teams. Maugle leads the team with 176 kills, two more than Quayle. Maugle’s 3.45 kills per set average ranks eighth in the Big East. She also has 16 service aces in those 51 sets, a 0.31 average that puts her in a tie for eighth in the conference rankings.
Of course, Quayle and Maugle need people to set the ball to them. Freshman Marissa Prinzbach and senior Angela Roidt have been leading the way in terms of assists. With 392 assists in 41 sets played, Prinzbach is ranked No. 5 in the Big East with an average of 9.56 assists per set. Roidt is second on the team with 183 assists in 23 sets played.
Defensively, the Huskies have a couple of conference leaders. Freshman Erika Thomas is the Big East leader in blocks per set with an average of 1.29 per set (63 total blocks in 49 sets). Senior Kelsey Maving leads the conference in digs with 329 in 58 sets played, an average of 5.67 per set. Her career total of 1,608 digs places her fourth all-time in UConn history.
UConn will not travel far for its first road test of conference play when the Huskies travel to Queens, N.Y. to play St. John’s. The Red Storm are also 2-0 to start the conference season after defeating Georgetown 3-0 and Villanova 3-2 last weekend.
Overall, St. John’s are 15-3, but are not near the coaches’ poll rankings, a testament to their relatively weak schedule. They are certainly a talented team though. UConn will particularly need to watch for freshman Karin Palgutova, who is second in the Big East with 25 service aces in 48 sets, an average of 0.52 per set.
Saturday will begin a span of three matches away from Gampel Pavilion for the Huskies. Overall outside of Storrs, Conn., UConn is 6-5 while St. John’s is 7-1 at home.