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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Volleyball

Volleyball team looks for success on the road


The Cougars continue their great play over the last month as they head back on the road in Conference USA at Memphis tonight and at UAB on Sunday.

Ingrida Zauere (7) and Lucy Charuk (13) have been a vital part of the Cougars’ success, and will be counted on to contribute this weekend. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

UH (11-8, 5-2 C-USA) has won 10 of its last 12 games, and five straight games for the second time this season after a 1-6 start.

“I think more than anything it feels good that we’re playing consistently, we’re figuring out how to create wins for ourself,” head coach Molly Alvey said.

After a pair of 3-1 victories at home this past weekend, setter Amber Brooks was named C-USA Co-Setter of the Week after totaling 95 digs combined in the two wins.

“I think Amber’s decision making is getting much better,” Alvey said. “She’s creating more open opportunities for our attackers, which in turn leads to assists.”

Memphis (11-7, 2-4 C-USA) has lost four of their last six games heading in to tonight’s matchup with the Cougars, including back-to-back losses to C-USA second-place team SMU (14-4, 6-1 C-USA). Altreese Hawkins’ 266 kills (3.97 per set) lead the way for the Tigers.

“I think they’ll be ready to go, and I think Memphis is always a team that’s ready to play, especially being at home,” Alvey said.

“I think with us winning it puts a little bit of a target on our back — people are going to be prepared and ready to play us.”

UAB (4-14, 1-5 C-USA) has not had a strong season, currently tied for second to last place in C-USA with Tulsa, and are only ahead of East Carolina (1-17, 0-6 C-USA). The Cougars will play East Carolina for the first time this season on Halloween in what they hope to be a charity win.

The Blazers haven’t been blazing, but are led by Jordan McDonald’s 185 kills (2.85 per set) this season.

“UAB has always been a good team. Just because they are on the bottom doesn’t make me think any differently of them, I know they are going to come out and play a solid match against us,” Alvey said.

The Cougars currently sit alone in fourth place in C-USA behind Tulsa, SMU and Rice.

The Cougars lost to Rice in the C-USA opener at home 3-0 Sept. 21, and have yet to play Tulsa and SMU.

Under head coach Ed Allen, Tulsa (17-2)grabbed its 16th straight win of the season after defeating Oral Roberts last weekend. The Golden Hurricane is entering into a four-match road trip this weekend starting with a 6 p.m. contest against Marshall.

SMU is tied for second place with Rice in the conference standings after defeating the Memphis Tigers. The Mustangs are slated to face off against the East Carolina Pirates today at 6 p.m. in Greenville, N.C.

Following the two-game road trip, the Cougars will host two conference matches against Tulsa and SMU Oct. 22-23 at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

“We definitely need to get better for those matches, but then again we can’t look past this weekend,” Alvey said. “This weekend first, then we will move on to our next opponent.”


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