In what was a pretty evenly matched game across the board, the Eagles fell to UConn 3-2 in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship today. This was BC’s second appearance in the tournament and first time past round 1.
The Huskies scored the first point of the game, but the game quickly tied up at 1 after UConn hit the ball out of bounds. The game started out with a number of long, back and forth rallies, and the teams then began trading points back and forth.
The Eagles built a 15-10 lead, but UConn came out of a timeout break to score 3 straight points and cut the BC lead to 2. This fed into an 8-2 run for the Huskies that allowed UConn to take an 18-17 lead. Amaka Chukwujekwu helped BC to regain the lead, but UConn immediately tied the game back up after another timeout. The teams went back to trading points as the first set continued, but Izzy Clavena made a pair of big plays to help BC win the set 25-21.
BC earned the first point of the second set off an out of bounds ball from UConn, but the teams quickly fell back into trading points. The teams continued to stay within a couple of points of each other as the game went, with the lead flipping back and forth. UConn gained momentum late, however, and pulled off a 25-19 win to tie the game at 1-1.
The Huskies started the third set on a 2-0 run. Alayna Crabtree scored BC’s first point to keep UConn from building too much of a lead, but UConn was able keep a consistent 2 point lead early on before building up to a 7-3 advantage. Some big plays from Clare Naughton and Mackenzie Fuhrmann helped to get BC back within 1, and the Crabtree tied the game up at 8.
A couple of great serves from Sophia Lambros allowed the Eagles to get a 15-13 lead, but a 4-0 run put UConn back up by 2. Naughton then scored an ace after a UConn error to tie the game back up at 17 all, only for UConn to immediately build the 2 point lead back up. UConn continued to build the lead thanks to a few messy plays from the Eagles, going up 21-17 and forcing BC to take a timeout. The Eagles managed to close the gap a bit, with Chukwujekwu scoring some beautiful points, but UConn managed to win the third by a score of 25-22.
The Eagles started the scoring in the fourth set, going up 2-0 before UConn scored. Some really great blocks allowed BC to continue to build up a lead, as they stayed up by 3 to 4 points for much of the beginning of the set. BC was able to build the lead up to 6 points off a great serve from Anna Murphy, with the Eagles taking a 15-9 lead into the timeout. The teams traded points back and forth coming back from the timeout.
Clavena tipped the ball over into an empty slot to get BC to 20 points, with the Eagles still leading by 6. A few mistakes from BC helped UConn to close the gap, but a huge block from Clavena and Gabby McCaa got BC to 24 points, and Naughton got the kill to win this set 25-20.
The tie-breaking final set began with a service error for BC, but Chukwujekwu got BC right back into the game, tying the set at 1 and then putting the Eagles up 2-1. UConn followed up with 3 straight points to take a 4-2 lead, causing BC to take a timeout. The Huskies continued to lead as the game progressed, building up to a 10-5 and then 12-6 advantage. The Eagles did their best to fight back, but UConn ultimately won the set 15-9 and the match 3-2.