Volleyball snaps skid, tops Sacred Heart, 3-2
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 23:10
The UConn volleyball team won a five-set thriller Tuesday night as it took down the Sacred Heart Pioneers 3-2.
The Huskies were once again without co-captain Devon Maugle, but were also missing freshman standout Sade Strawberry.
The Huskies would not be thwarted by injuries though as they took the first set of the match 25-20 behind great blocks from Immanuella Anuga and Karson Ratliff.
UConn would fall to the Pioneers in the second set, 25-21, as Sacred Heart was able to tie up the match before the halftime break.
The Huskies came out of the locker room on fire, jumping out to an 11-4 lead behind Erika Thomas and a Karson Ratliff ace, forcing the Pioneers to take a timeout. The Pioneers stormed out of the timeout to take the lead after an 11-3, and an eventual 8-4 run gave them the set and a 2-1 lead.
UConn scrapped in the crucial fourth set. The Pioneers jumped out to a 9-5 lead, but the Huskies would fight back, eventually tying the game on a block from Anuga and freshmen Hayley Cmajdalka that sent the Huskies bench and crowd into a frenzy.
The Pioneers would once again jump out to a lead, this time with a score of 19-17. However, the Huskies were not to be denied Tuesday night, as UConn went on a run, scoring the final seven points of the set and winning 25-21, sending the match to a fifth overtime set.
It was all Huskies in the overtime set as they rode the momentum of the fourth. Led by the blocks of Anuga and Ratliff, the Huskies would take to set 15-12 on a devastating ace serve off the hand of Ratliff.
“We’re battling some adversity with some health and injury,” said coach Holly Strauss-O’Brien. “We pulled it out and showed a lot of fight and heart which is really important.”
The Huskies had a very balanced scoring attack Tuesday as three of their attackers reached double digits. Thomas, Ratliff and Anuga all finished the match with 10 kills while Madeline Kuppe added nine. Ratliff also added five aces to set her career-high to go along with six blocks. Anuga would also block eight opponent kills while Thomas would block five.
Co-captain Brianna Datti would lead the way on defense with 15 digs, and freshman Sophia Mar would add 14. Marissa Prinzbach would lead the way for the Huskies with 39 assists.
The win brings UConn’s record to 9-10 overall as they close out their non-conference schedule. UConn’s next game will be against Rutgers on Friday at 7 p.m. in Gampel Pavilion as the Huskies try for their first American Athletic Conference win.