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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Volleyball team bound for Louisiana showdown

Chandace Tryon (11) and Stephanie Nwachukwu's (3) play will be essential if the Cougars want to keep the wins coming. | Pauline Alderete/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars are back on the road for the Nicholls Challenge Tournament, after coming off back-to-back wins to close out the BYU Molten Classic last weekend.

UH (3-6) opens up with Louisiana Tech this afternoon at 3 p.m. Saturday they play a doubleheader against host team Nicholls State at noon and Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m.

“We keep reinforcing that after each weekend we need to build on what we did the previous weekend,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “As a team, we need to keep raising our expectations.”

Louisiana Tech (7-4) has won four consecutive games and five of their last seven heading into this weekend’s games and are led by duo Taylor Fritz and Kassia Pinto, with 100 and 94 kills respectively for the season.

“When you play against good hitters and they have multiple shots, you’re never exempt from defense,” Alvey said.

“You have to always be ready, so discipline and expecting the ball are the two main focuses,”

The Cougars have picked up the pace after a 1-6 start to the season, and sophomore Chandace Tryon has been a big part of the Cougar’s attack. Tryon has posted consecutive 11 kill games, resulting in UH wins against Loyola Marymount and BYU.

“She actually has been a very consistent steady player all season long,” Alvey said.

“Practicing and matches, I think that’s one constant that Chandace brings.”

The Cougars are 2-1 in noon games this season. They will match up with host team Nicholls State (7-3) Saturday at noon. The Colonels, like La. Tech, bring a four game winning streak to the tourney and have also posted a 3-0 home record.

“Nicholls (State) does have an advantage playing at home,” Alvey said. “It’s always an advantage to be on your home court, have your home friends around you. “Whether it’s ACC, SEC, SWAC — whoever we got to take care of business on our side of the net.”

Jennifer Brandt leads the Colonels with 110 kills as they look to stay perfect on their home floor.

Southeastern Louisiana (7-6) will be the final game of the non-conference schedule for the Cougars. Conference USA play begins Sept. 21 at home against inner-city rival Rice.

The Lions of Southeastern Louisiana bring a balanced scoring attack to the tournament, with six players having 50 or more kills on the season, led by the 109 kills from Allison Jones. The Lions have lost three of their last five games.

“That’s super important when you have multiple people that can put the ball away from you,” Alvey said.

“It gives your setter a lot more options so it makes it a little bit harder to defend.”

Lucy Charuk’s 98 kills and 41 blocks lead the Cougars. Amanda Carson anchors the defense with a team-high 154 digs, and Amber Brooks has notched 312 assists.

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