Volleyball plans to shine in first game
Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 01:08
The UConn volleyball team will open its inaugural American Athletic Conference campaign with a trio of games this weekend in Fort Wayne, Ind.
The Huskies begin their season with a spot in the IPFW Invitational, which will feature contests against Southern Illinois, Duquesne and the host, IPFW.
UConn enters this campaign looking to improve on last year’s 19-12 record, as they are led once again by 2012 Big East Co-Coach of the Year Holly Strauss-O’Brien.
This season’s incarnation of the team was selected to finish third in the American in the recent preseason coaches’ poll. However, the Huskies will be looking for a strong start to their non-conference campaign to build momentum for conference play.
The Huskies are led by junior captains Devon Maugle, an outside hitter from Plymouth Meetings, Pa., and Brianna Dattie, who will serve as the team’s libero from Durham, N.H.
In terms of competition, the Huskies certainly face challenges to begin their 2012 campaign.
The Southern Illinois Salukis are coming off of a 21-9 season and are led by second-year head coach Justin Ingram. The Salukis will have their share of growing pains, as the loss of four starters from last year’s team will lead to a few new faces. With nine newcomers, the Salukis will feature a young squad who are sure to be hungry to prove themselves.
The Duquesne Dukes are projected to finish second in the A10, and with good reason. The Dukes are coming off of a 22-11 campaign and return two of last seasons All-A10 honorees, Arielle Love and Allison Foschia. Duquesne is led by veteran head coach Steve Opperman, who has been at the helm for 15 seasons.
Finally, the hosting IPFW Mastodons finished last season with a 25-7 record, including an impressive 11-2 record in their home of Fort Wayne. The Mastodons were named co-favorite in their conference, the Summit League, and return the 2012 Summit League Player of the Year Emily Spencer.
The Huskies will take on Southern Illinois on Aug 30 at 5 p.m., before a doubleheader that following day against Duquesne and IPFW at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. respectively.