Team defeats Bearkats at home
After the Cougars (7-5) swept Sam Houston State 3-0 in their home-opener on Tuesday, they will go back on the road for a two-game road trip to begin Conference USA play Friday night.
Houston will play two Conference-USA games this weekend when the Cougars take on Tulane (8-4) in New Orleans at 7 p.m. and at Texas-El Paso (4-9) tonight at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The Cougars were forced to cancel four games at home because of Hurricane Ike, but soundly defeated the Bearkats at the Athletics/Alumni Center to get back on track. The win on Tuesday – the latest home start in Cougar volleyball history – improved Houston to 17-6 in home-openers under head coach Bill Walton.
Senior outside hitter Justine Farmer registered 11 kills against the Bearkats and has a team-high 162 kills on the season while recording 104 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Lucy Charuk leads the Cougars in blocks (46), and also has 108 kills this season. Senior setter Kelsey King has 494 assists on the season while sophomore defensive Amanda Carson leads the team with 132 digs this year.
The Cougars look to end the Green Wave’s streak of six wins, the latest coming from a 3-2 decision over No. 14 Middle Tennessee State on Sunday. Tulane senior outside hitter Bridgett Wells, who led her team with 15 kills against Middle Tennessee, was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Houston will have to contain Wells, who totaled 51 kills in Tulane’s last three games. Tulane has won 16 consecutive matches at Fogelman Arena dating back to last season.
Sunday’s game will feature another Conference USA match up against in-state foe UTEP as Farmer returns home to El Paso to face the Miners, who are struggling with a 4-9 record but are coming off a win against Providence on Saturday.
UTEP junior outside hitters Catherine Chavez and Amy Sanders, who respectively have 171 and 158 kills entering Friday’s game, will lead the Miners’ attack. Chavez led the Miners with 14 kills against Providence, with Sanders adding 11.
UTEP is 3-7 all-time against Houston, but the Miners defeated the Cougars 3-2 in the their last meeting on Nov. 2 at Memorial Gym in El Paso.