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Friday, August 7, 2020


Volleyball team seeks consistent play

Lucy Charuk (13) and the Cougars don't plan to take Southern Mississippi lightly, as the Golden Eagles come to town Friday. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

The Cougars are playing their best volleyball of the season, carrying a three game win streak (along with wins in eight of the last nine games) for a weekend doubleheader against Conference USA foe Southern Miss.

Today, UH (9-8, 3-2 C-USA) welcomes a Southern Miss (8-7, 1-2 C-USA) team that hasn’t played great volleyball as of late. The Golden Eagles have lost seven of 11 games after a 4-0 start, and have dropped back-to-back C-USA games.

“It’s huge in that you’re hosting a back-to-back,” head coach Molley Alvey said. “It takes a lot of focus to kind of bear down and play back-to-back matches against the same opponent.

“Southern Miss has played some good teams, they’ve already played top of the conference early on,” Alvey said. “I think it really doesn’t matter record-wise. They’re going to come out strong, they’ve had some good play this season, they’ll be ready to come play against us.”

The Golden Eagles are coming off a 3-2 loss at SMU (12-4, 4-1 C-USA) in a game where Southern Miss stars Halie Ecker and Ashley Mell recorded 22 and 20 kills respectively.

Mell has been the anchor this season for Southern Miss, having a monster season up to this point with 269 kills, 267 digs and 31 blocks. Mecker has been the Robin to Mell’s Batman with a formidable 194 kills and 233 digs.

“She does have a lot of kills, she’s also the main person that they set, where we are a much more spread out offense. We have more players getting evenly distributed balls,” Alvey said. “I think it makes it a little bit easier because you know where the ball is going.”

Lucy Charuk and Chandace Tryon will anchor the front line and hope to keep Mell’s numbers to a minimum. Charuk and Tryon have 73 and 37 blocks and 182 and 144 kills respectively — making them the top one and two on the Cougars.

Amber Brooks leads the way with 622 assists and defensive specialist Amanda Carson has 291 digs.

This weekend is also the Cougars’ annual Alumni Weekend at the Athletics/Alumni Center where a Saturday morning breakfast gives current players and coaches an opportunity to talk about the season with old and new alumni.

“I’m really excited to meet them,” Alvey said. “I think immediately upon me taking the job I had a lot of them e-mailing and are interested in staying involved in the program.”

After the twin bill this weekend, the Cougars are back on the road for four of their next six games beginning in Memphis on Oct. 15.

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