Volleyball: UConn finishes second in season-opening tournament
Published: Monday, September 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2013 23:09
The UConn volleyball team came in second in the IPFW Invitational this weekend, falling short to the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Mastodons.
UConn started off the weekend with a loss in the opening round of the tournament to Southern Illinois 3-2 in five sets. The Huskies dropped the first set 25-19 as the Salukis took control with the final six points of the set. However, UConn fought their way back into the fight, pulling ahead in the matchup with two victories of their own in the second and third set, winning 25-19 and 27-25.
The Salukis would hold steady in the fourth set, beating the Huskies 25-18 and forcing an overtime set. The tiebreaking set pushed each team to the brink, as the teams were knotted at 15-15. The Salukis would score the final two points of the set winning 17-15, thus winning the match.
Four Huskies reached double figures in kills against the Salukis. Immanuella Anuga led UConn with 15 kills while Karson Ratliff added 13. Erika Thomas and Jade Strawberry both had 11 kills. Marissa Prinzbach led the Huskies in assists with 55 while co-captain Brianna Datti contributed 20 digs.
UConn would bounce back the following day against Duquesne as they took the game in straight sets 25-23, 25-15, 25-19 to sweep the Dukes. Co-captain Devon Maugle led the way for the Huskies with a double-double as she had 12 kills and 12 digs. Anuga contributed nine kills while Strawberry added eight and Thomas added 7. Prinzbach one again led the way with 37 assists while Datti had 12 digs.
The win sent the Huskies to the championship round of the IPFW Invitational against the host school.
UConn came out firing, taking the first set 25-22. Strawberry finished off the set with one of her six kills as the Huskies led 1-0. The Mastodons took and maintained a commanding lead—and led by 10 at one point—to take the second set by a score of 25-16.
The Huskies pulled out to a lead in the third set, but were unable to maintain it as the Mastodons closed out the set with six consecutive points, winning 25-17. The Mastodons would take the tournament and the game in a decisive fourth set 25-20.
The Huskies had great performances in their final game in Indiana as Ratliff contributed a career-high 18 kills. Strawberry had a double-double in the contest, posting 10 kills and 12 digs. Thomas contributed seven kills of her own.
Strawberry and Thomas each earned All-Tournament honors for their efforts during the tournament.
The Huskies are back in action Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion against the Hartford Hawks.