UH volleyball looks for road results
After going 2-3 in a five-game stint at the Athletics/Alumni Center, the Cougars will begin a four-game road trip when they take on Southern Mississippi at 6 p.m. today in Hattiesburg, Miss. UH then faces Central Florida at noon Sunday in Orlando, Fla.
The Cougars (6-16, 3-4) are hoping to turn around a season spent mostly on the road, and seemed to find new life at home after beating Tulane (10-6, 5-2), and UTEP (9-11, 2-5) to start their recent homestand.
That fresh start, however, was short lived. The Cougars followed up their wins with losses to three quality Conference USA opponents in Rice (13-5, 5-2), SMU (13-7, 3-3), and Tulsa (14-5, 4-2) to finish the five-game stretch.
Now the Cougars will have to turn their season around on the road, and head coach Bill Walton is worried about a carry-over effect.
‘ ‘All that positive fervor we had before we played Tulane and UTEP’hellip; we’re searching for that attitude we had in practice that week and the way we played that weekend,’ Walton said. ‘Maybe the reason we practiced good that week was because we were home. The excitement of playing at home has worn off.’
Walton said the team’s attitude shows in the way they practice.
‘ ‘The last two practices’hellip; they don’t give me a lot of hope,’ Walton said. ‘But, you don’t always play the way you practice. We’ve got to come ready to play and practice every day.’
The Cougars play UCF on Sunday, but their real test will come from Southern Miss (18-3, 6-1), who currently sits atop the C-USA standings.
‘They’re blocking pretty good right now, they’re hustling, they’re playing good defense,’ Walton said. ‘They just beat Tulane, and they’re feeling really positive about themselves and they’re going to be at home.’
Still, Walton has a plan for taking down such a formidable opponent.
‘ ‘We’re going to try and win the serve-and-receive game,’ Walton said. ‘If we win the serve-and-receive game then I think we have a chance to win the match.’