Volleyball team swaps weekend wins with Tulane
The Cougars earned their first Conference USA win with a sweep of Tulane Sunday, following a 3-1 loss to the Green Wave on Saturday.
UH (7-8, 1-2 C-USA) ended a two-game skid with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) victory led by Chandace Tryon’s 15 kills.
“On Sunday we took a different approach,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “They came ready to play, and we handled Tulane much better in that match.”
The Cougars were able to bounce back from Saturday’s loss and play the Green Wave to three close sets. They pulled away late in the first and second sets after having tied scores of 17-17 and 23-23 respectively, taking a 2-0 match lead. Ingrida Zauere’s service ace gave UH its second set win.
The third set was another battle, but the Cougars held a slight lead at 18-15. Tulane stayed alive, but the Cougars escaped late with a 25-23 third set match win for the sweep.
“Overall I think we continue to get better playing on the road, and getting acquainted with the surroundings,” Alvey said. “We’re taking in all the places we’ve played they’ve done a great job of preparing.”
Zauere chipped in with eight kills and 11 digs. In addition to Tryon’s 15 kills, she added four digs and three blocks.
“Every opportunity that she’s had to play, she has been a 100 percent consistent player. We all know what (we’re) getting when she goes in,” Alvey said.
In Saturday’s game, the Green Wave played solid to beat the team 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 29-31, 21-25) dropping UH to 0-2 in C-USA.
Tulane handled the Cougars in the first game, cruising to an eight point set win. In the second game, UH came out with an answer to take a 3-0 lead. Tulane got back into it to tie the score at nine apiece. The Cougars then went on an 11-5 run to go up 20-14, hanging on to win the set and tie the match 1-1.
Game three was a thriller as the back-to-back set went into extra points. The Cougars fought, but Tulane escaped the deuce with a 31-29 set win to take a 2-1 lead.
“Our composure level is very good,” Alvey said. “That is one characteristic that we’ve done a phenomenal job with. We had an opportunity to finish that set that went long, and we just didn’t finish and ended up losing that set.”
The Cougars needed a win to force a fifth and deciding set against and had built some momentum. The Cougars had a slim 13-11 lead, prompting a Tulane timeout. The score came to a 19-19 tie, but Tulane closed out the match with the win in their C-USA opener, winning game four 25-21.
In the loss the Cougars had three players score 10 or more kills. Tryon had another solid outing with 14 kills, while Zauere recorded her third double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Team Captain Lucy Charuk added 15 kills.
“Our middles have done a good job of staying consistent, and Lucy does well,” Alvey said.
“We often talk a lot about her offense, but the one thing a lot of people don’t see is she’s done a great job blocking.”
UH returns home Friday for a 7 p.m. match with Central Florida at the Athletics/Alumni Center. UCF is coming off a loss to Marshall. Under head coach Todd Dagenais, the Knights are 7-7 on the season but have not yet defeated a conference opponent.