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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Volleyball team preps for UCF, UTEP

Ingrida Zauere (7) and Kati Dillard (10) hope to provide a formidable front on defense in the team’s pair of games this weekend. The team starts with a home game Friday and travels to El Paso for a Sunday match. | Pauline Alderete/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars are back home tonight against Central Florida looking to get their first home win of the season and get back to .500 in Conference USA action.

UH (7-8, 1-2 C-USA) will face a struggling UCF (7-7, 0-2 C-USA) team that has dropped seven straight matches after an impressive 7-0 start.

“First and foremost it’s an opportunity for us here again at home; we need to get a win on our home court, and so I think that will be our focus,” said head coach Molly Alvey.

UCF last played a match Sept. 24 and lost to Marshall 3-0. The Knights have lost three consecutive matches 3-0 and their last win was way back on Sept. 10 when they swept Florida Atlantic.

The Knights team is well-rested for Houston as they look to get back on track and play like they did during their 7-0 start.

“There could have been a different outcome at Tulane (1-1 in two matches last weekend). We’re going to come out with a sense of urgency and bring it right back at them,” Alvey said on a facing a UCF team looking to bounce back.

The Knights are led by outside hitter Kristin Fisher who has been great this season. Fisher leads the way with 210 kills, 122 digs and 21 blocks.

“I think we need to be disciplined in our system and our system works for whoever we play,” Alvey said.

The Cougars will need a strong start in the match to get their first home win. This season they’ve struggled early on, having lost 10 of 15 first games to fall behind early. In those games they have been outscored by 35.

“I don’t know what that problem is, but that’s been our focus,” Alvey said. “We went hard this week at practice, with that mindset of we’re going hard out of the gates on Friday.”

UTSA transfer setter Amber Brooks has been a bright spot on the team this season with 544 assists to lead the team and has been a floor general alongside Lucy Charuk and Chandace Tryon.

“I think Amber’s a huge presence on the court, she’s basically our offensive coordinator,” Alvey said.

The Cougars are led by Charuk’s 161 kills and 52 blocks and defensive specialist Amanda Carson has 263 digs to anchor the back line.

The team has a short turnaround after UCF as they carry a 7-4 road record to El Paso for a Sunday afternoon matchup with the UTEP Miners.

“How you play Friday only prepares you for Sunday?” Alvey said. “If you can get it going on Friday then it 100 percent carries you into a Sunday match, especially being away from home.”

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