Volleyball starts winless in American play
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 00:09
The UConn volleyball team had a rough start to American Athletic Conference play, as back-to-back losses over the weekend left the Huskies searching for their first win in the new conference.
UConn opened conference play against visiting SMU, who went on to sweep the Huskies in their contest Friday night.
The Huskies looked to bounce back against Houston, as UConn came back to force a fifth set after being down 2-0. However, Houston rallied at the end to leave the Huskies winless on the weekend.
UConn has been plagued by injuries, as the Huskies were forced to face the weekend without two of their best attackers, as both Devon Maugle and Karson Ratliff missed time for the Huskies. Maugle was forced to miss both contests, while Ratliff was able to bounce back with a 13 kill performance in UConn’s game against Houston.
The absence of Maugle certainly had its effect on the young Huskies, as the captain Maugle is second in kills and third in digs for the Huskies on the season.
“She’s a captain. She’s got the most playing experience and she’s a warrior for us,” said head coach Holly Strauss-O’Brien. “Not having her on the floor for six rotations, she’s definitely missed. At the same time, she’s giving all she can to the team from the sideline. We have the talent to still pull out the wins, so we just need her to rest and hopefully get healthy before the end of the season.”
However, it looks like the Huskies will have to make due without one of their leaders, as it appears that Maugle will be forced to the sidelines for the next few contests.
“It’s pretty unpredictable, but it’s at least another two to three weeks,” said Strauss-O’Brien on the injury. “It’s a stress fracture in her foot.”
As for how the Huskies will cope, Strauss-O’Brien will be looking to other members of the team to step up while their captain is sidelined.
“Honestly, its not as much about the other teams right now as it is about us just trying to piece together this new lineup and having new leaders emerge in the absence of Devon,” said Strauss-O’Brien, whose Huskies are 8-8 on the season.
UConn will look to bounce back this weekend in Florida, as the Huskies travel to the Sunshine State to take on University of Central Florida and University of South Florida.