The Hawks from Hartford came up the road to Storrs to take on the Connecticut Huskies and a battle ensued between these two resourceful teams. Both squads were able to play a great amount of defense, and resurrect many rallies that usually end in a point for the other team.I don’t claim to be an expert in the nuances of volleyball, but compared to many of the matches I’ve seen there didn’t seem to be many misdirection plays. On almost every point it was fairly clear who was going for the kill, it was just a matter of whether the other team could stop it.
The set opened with the two teams rallying to a 6-6 lead. For Hartford their points came off two Connecticut errors, an Erin Macro spike just in bounds, a Maddison Molyneux put over from the net, Michelle Cordell finding the corner on her attack, and Lindsay Makowicki tipping a ball off the blockers. Connecticut’s points came from a Laura Lamberti smash through the blockers, another kill from her, a Hartford error, a kill from Jordan Kirk, Rebecca Murray receiving a set and using it to maximum effect with a crushing kill, and another Kirk blast.Hartford’s Lindsay Ford and Sarah Boss played some good defense on Connecticut’s sixth point even though the score eventually went to the Huskies.
Cordell found the corner again and smashed the ball into it to gain the lead for Hartford, 6-7. A Connecticut attack error added to the lead, though the Hawks served into the net on the next rally to keep their lead at 2. UH17 hammered the ball of the Huskies dig and out of bound for another point, but Megan Frey set the ball to the defense’s left corner for a point Connecticut.The two teams fought to a 12-12 tie.The Hawks scored on a Molyneux spike off the block, and a Connecticut error.Connecticut scored off a Hartford error, a block from Lauren Lamberti and Murray, and Lamberti stuffing the Hartford attack. Makowicki whacked a kill in, to take the lead for Hartford, but Connecticut responded with a kill off the blockers, despite a good dig by Danielle Etta earlier in the rally. Connecticut went on a run thanks to a Hartford attack error, Murray crushing an attack off a set, and another visitor error. With the score 16-13, the Hawks called a time out.Three straight serves went out of bounds between the teams and the score was 17-15.Next came the longest rally of the match as the teams battled for the point sending the ball back and forth. Amidst it the Huskies came up with some good saves, as did Hartford including numerous good saves by Boss, and Macro had 3 in a row. Connecticut eventually sent an attack out of bounds to end the back and forth. Hartford tied it up on the next point when the Huskies attacked out of bounds, though Annie Luhrsen took a set and blasted it over the net to regain the lead for the home team.Hallie Fullagar hammered a spike down the line to tie things back up, and she scored again on a put over from the net. Connecticut called a time out, but Macro smashed a kill over when the ball was set to her to extend the lead. Frey attacked for another Connecticut point, but the ball was served out of bounds by her team on the next rally to keep Hartford up by 2.Fullagar served up an Ace to take a 19-22 lead. Chauntay Mickens responded for Connecticut with a rocket to the middle of the defensive zone, but Molyneux found another corner to spike into, and two consecutive Connecticut errors brought the score to 20-25 and Hartford won the set.Hartford 1, Connecticut 0.
The set opened with the teams reaching a 7-7 tie.Connecticut scored off a Murray smash off a good set, Kirk and Murray coming up with a block, a Murray crosscourt kill, a pair of Hartford errors, Kate Seabaugh spiking to the middle of the D, and Chauntay Mickens crushing the ball through a block.The Hawks scored off a Fullager kill, an additional spike, Molyneux whapping the ball off the blockers and out of bounds, two Connecticut attack errors, an Erin Macro kill to the corner, and a Cordell smash. Connecticut Libero Jessica Isaac came up with an especially good save on a point but unfortunately Hartford won it in the end.
Connecticut started to roll after that though. Luhrsen picked up two consecutive aces off her thunderous serves, and Hartford committed an attack error. The score was 10-7 and the Hawks called a time out.The relief was momentary as two Connecticut errors put the lead back at 1, but the Huskies kept scoring.Mickens spiked off the Hawks block, and Hartford ended a long rally battle with a tap out of bounds for another home team point.Makowicki picked up a block for the Hawks, but Connecticut scored a kill, and Hartford committed two errors to bring the score to 15-11.Hartford called another time out. Fullagar unleashed a ginormous smash just in bounds to get her team back within 3, but a Hawk error, and a Murray block put up the Huskies by 5, 17-12.
Molyneux smashed off the blockers, and Murray did the same in turn. Macro crushed the ball off a set, but Mickens had a huge kill cross-court of her own to keep Connecticut marching towards the win.Another Connecticut point followed, but Molyneux had another kill off the block. Lauren Lamberti delivered a titanic kill off the Hawks and way out of bounds to make the lead 6, and a Hartford error on a Lamberti attack put the lead at 7.The Hawks committed a four hit error to put the Huskies within 2, but the visitors didn’t give up. Fullagar delivered another blast, and Bettina Woodman had an ace. Connecticut called a time out with the score 23-17, though Fullagar picked up another kill when play resumed. Lamberti’s kill and a Hartford error, ended the set 25-18 soon afterward. Hartford 1, Connecticut 1.
The third frame opened to an 8-8 tie. Connecticut scored off a Hartford error, Lamberti kill off the block, another Hartford error, another Lamberti smash off the dig, a Hawk serve into the net, Kirk smash, a visitor’s spike into the net, and a Murray line shot. The Hawks benefited from a Husky serve into the net, a Macro kill off the block, and another point for her when she unleashed a kill off a block, another Molyneux precision spike to the corner, a Connecticut error, Makowicki’s kill, and two Connecticut errors.
Connecticut pulled out to a lead off a Hartford error, Mickens’s smash, and a Hawk spike out of bounds.The score was 11-8 and lead to a Hartford time out. U of H got back within 2 off a Huskies error, but in spite of a good dig by Boss, Mickens slammed the ball just in bounds, to regain a point and a serve for the home team.The score was 12-9.
Murray then stepped into serve…
Hartford committed an error, Mickens had a block, Murray picked up an Ace, and scored again during the rally. Hartford called a time out, but when play resumed, Murray came up with two great saves during a long battle, and despite a good save by Ford, Mickens blasted the ball over.Hartford then committed another error, Frey and Luhrsen combined on a block, and the Hawks failed to return another Connecticut attack.By the time Hartford’s Sydney Scott tapped the ball over for a point, it was 20-10 Connecticut.
The Huskies kept rolling. Devon Farrell spiked off the defense’s dig attempt, two Hartford errors followed, but the Huskies served into the net. The score was 23-11, and Connecticut ended it with a Lamberti blast, and a U of H error. Huskies win set 2, 25-10.
Hartford 1, Connecticut 2.
The set opened up to a 4-4 tie. Connecticut picked up points with a Luhrsen kill, Murray spike, Farrell kill from backcourt, and a Hartford error. For Hartford, Macro smashed one of the block, benefited from a Connecticut error, Ford picked up a surprise kill from the net and another Connecticut error resulted in their fourth point.
The Huskies once again started to roll though starting with a Isaac ace, 3 straight Hartford errors, a Frey kill off a good set despite a great save by Makowicki, another Isaac ace, another Frey spike off a good set, Kirk and Frey teaming up on a block, and Isaac’s third ace of her rotation. It was now 13-4.
Molyneux delivered a kill and another Hartford point followed, but Lamberti responded with a kill. Hartford scored again, but Lamberti tipped over an overpass that was hit over the net by the Hawks and the score was now 15-7.Connecticut served into the net, but Murray’s spike off the block to keep the lead at 8, 16-8. Hartford called another time out, but Connecticut kept battling towards the win.Mickens crushed a spike, though Macro had a huge kill of her own in response.Two Hartford errors followed and the lead was 19-9.Macro had a precision spike to the corner, but Mickens hammered the ball through the block for the Huskies’ 20th point.A Hartford four hit error followed, Luhrsen delivered an Ace just in bounds and it was 22-10.Macro had another kill, but Lamberti had another kill, and a second UC point followed.At set and match point Makowicki picked up a kill, but Kirk smashed it home on the next play to win it all.
Hartford 1, Connecticut 3.