By David F.P.
STORRS, CT- In the second match of the early action at the UConn Toyota Classic, UConn took on Brown and prevailed with a three straight set victory.
As always with recaps I tend to focus on the offensive, as it is hard enough to follow the fast paced action, but this is not to in any way downgrade the importance of key sets and key defensive plays. I do note defensive saves whenever I have time to write them down.
Set 1 was a battle royale as the two teams volleyed to an 18-18 tie before UConn took a slight lead and held I. Connecticut highlights included a Jordan Kirk spike to start off the scoring. Later on Cayla Broadwater hit the ball over and the defense could not return it. Rebecca Murray sent a blast into a gap in the defensive setup. Morgan Freeman and Allison Nickel shared a block soon afterward. Later in the game libero Kelsey Maving came up with one of her many defensive saves and went way out of bounds to make it, and a UConn point would eventually result. Much later in the set Mattison Quayle and Freeman shared a block as well. The two shared a block again sometime after, and sandwiched in between as a Murray ace. Soon afterward Kirk dropped the hammer on a spike.
For Brown, highlights included Brianna Williamson and Danielle Vaughan teamed up on a block, later Vaughan had a whap over the net, later on, Emma Pastore delivered one of her many kills, and afterward Katrina Post whammed a big spike in. Pastore added a nothing blast past the defense. The last point of the set for the team was when Post sent a kill over.
Set 2 was also a close one where UConn fought off a late charge from Brown to win it 25-23. For the Huskies, highlights included a block from Kirk and Freeman. Nickel tapped the ball over the net for a point later on. She and Broadwater came up with the tandem block. After that Murray whapped the the ball over and the defense couldn’t return it. Later in the set, Quayle delivered a kill from the net. Later Nickel and Broadwater shared a block, and Broadwater picked up a kill later on, and Murray joined in with a cross court spike just in bounds.
Highlights for the Brown Bears, Carly Cotton dropping a serve in for an Ace, and Kathryn Glickman and Post had a tandem block early in the set. Later on Glickman tapped a ball lightly to the gap. Alexandra Rieckhoff and Vaughan also had a bloc, later on, Vaughan got set the ball and blasted it in, Cotton added another service ace soon afterward. Amanda Nickel served up an ace during the closing moments of the sets, Glickman and Pastore had a block as well, and Pastore scored a kill. Vaughan had Brown’s last point with her block.
Set 3 was more open and shut for UConn, scoring a 23-11 win to take the set and match. Freeman sent a smash into the D to add to UConn’s lead, and later came up with a block. Murray kept a serving streak going and added a service ace. Quayle and Freeman shared a block, and then Freeman joined up with Kirk for a block right after that. When Broadwater sent a high kill over the D the score was 13-3. Later Quayle found a gap to send the ball into. Murray and Freeman had a block afterward, and Kirk added a kill as well amidst the scoring. Brown’s highlights included Vaughan’s spike, and later Rieckhoff came up with an Ace. A good save by Annika Gliottone didn’t lead to points but was part of many of her defensive prowess.
UConn picked up their second win of the tournament, and Brown continued their search for one looking towards the evening sessions.