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Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Volleyball team takes 5-match win streak into game against Rice

Head coach Molly Alvey (not pictured) hopes to keep her team's momentum tonight against the Rice Owls. | Pauline Alderete/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars extended their season-long winning streak to five games after a 3-0 performance at the Nicholls State Challenge.

UH (6-6) is back to .500 after wins against Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls State and Louisiana Tech over the weekend. The Cougars will open their Conference USA season against Rice at 7 p.m. today at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

“We dropped the very first set of the entire tournament against Louisiana Tech,” head coach Molley Alvey said. “They were able to regroup and move straightforward from there. From then on out we didn’t drop a set, so we went nine straight sets winning. I’m very pleased with that.”

Emergence of Tryon

All-Tournament MVP Chandace Tryon has burst on to the scene with five consecutive double-figure kill games, including a combined 42 kills in the Nicholls State Challenge.

“Chandace is just incredibly consistent,” Alvey said. “For her numbers and consistency of play, Chandace is getting her job done.”

In the tournament finale Saturday afternoon, the Cougars smoked the Lions 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-16). Led by Tryon’s 13 kills, as they held Southeastern Louisiana to a mere 19 kills. The Cougars’ defense stepped up big, not giving up more than 16 points per set and holding the Lions to a .037 hitting percentage.

“We served tough and then in turn we were able to set up in our defensive system quickly and hold them to 19 kills,” Alvey said.

In Saturday’s game against host Nicholls State, the Cougars swept the Colonels 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-20). Tryon and Lucy Charuk combined for 27 kills.

UH jumped out to early leads in all three sets and held a 20-12 lead in the third set. The Colonels battled back and made it 23-18. The Cougars scored two of the final four points, as Tryon’s kill on match point gave the Cougars a sweep.

In Friday night’s game, the team bounced back after dropping the first set to Louisiana Tech to win the match 3-1 (23-25, 25-15, 25-12, 25-19). UH dominated the next three sets, recording 28 kills in the first two sets. Amber Brooks had a notable performance with 45 assists and 14 digs.

“We just talk about how we’re getting better,” Alvey said. “The team can see how well (we do) when we as individuals get our job done, and when we play well as a team, the competition side becomes really fun.”

Tryon was commended for her performance Monday. The sophomore was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. It’s the first time Tryon received the honor.

Looking ahead to Rice

Rice (5-7) has won back-to-back games after coming off a win at the Rice Invitational. Ashleigh McCord leads the Owls with 139 kills on the season at an average of 4.34 kills per set.

Alvey said she hopes for a hostile atmosphere against Rice.

“I hope our stands are going to be filled with Cougar fans; it’s going to be loud, and the band’s going to be there,” Alvey said.

“I think both teams coming in have a lot of momentum on their side, and the rivalry will play into it.”

During the Cougars’ five-game winning streak, Tryon has been a huge factor, racking up 64 kills during the streak. The Cougars are still led by the 130 kills and 42 blocks this season from Charuk. Brooks has 437 assists, and Amanda Carson has chipped in with 215 digs.

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