Volleyball team powers past Marshall, ECU
The Cougars continued their success on the road this season with a 3-0 sweep of Marshall on Saturday followed by a
3-0 sweep of East Carolina on Sunday.
The Cougars were led by Lucy Charuk’s 20 kills and Marluci Toazzi’s 17 digs and nine kills in their 25-18, 25-22, 25-11 win over ECU.
“To be able to sweep twice on the road does take a lot of focus,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “At times, we could have been a little bit more sharp, but I think that’s the nature of traveling.”
UH (15-10, 9-4 Conference USA) took an early 7-2 lead in the first game and cruised the rest of the way, leading by as many as seven points before winning the game 25-18.
In the second game, the Cougars continued to control the match against the Pirates. UH was able to jump out to an early 15-9 lead and increased it to 20-14. The Pirates fought back, going on an 8-2 run to tie the game 22-22. The Cougars would finish the set on a 3-0 run to end the Pirates’ rally and win the game.
UH carried momentum from the second set into the third, taking an early 7-3 lead before a Pirates’ timeout. ECU cut the lead to 11-8, but the Cougars followed with a 14-3 run to end the match.
“We just finally focused in set three,” Alvey said. “I don’t feel we were 100 percent prepared going into that match, which is frustrating, I think on the flip side it’s positive that we responded.”
Charuk led the way for the Cougars with 13 kills in Saturday’s 25-17, 25-21, 25-22 win against a Marshall team that has dropped eight consecutive C-USA matches.
“She’s making herself a lot more available in the offense with just getting herself open with her feet; the more she can start to do a few things a little bit differently and get herself open,” Alvey said.
“I think she did a nice job of that this weekend. That’s why she performed so well kill-wise.”
Ingrida Zauere chipped in with 20 digs and eight kills. Amber Brooks contributed with 30 assists, four kills and four digs. Elizabeth Herman led the Thundering Herd with 13 kills and five digs.
The Cougars were up 9-5 in the first game and later 17-14. They were able to close out the game on a 6-1 run.
The second game was tied 13-13 and provided some drama, but the Cougars rallied late to take a 24-21 lead. They later won after Marshall committed an error on game point.
The third game had the Cougars up 15-13 and later 24-22. Marshall’s Herman had an attack error on game point as the Cougars got the sweep.
UH, which began the week tied with Rice for third place in C-USA, returns home for its next four conference games against UAB, Memphis, Marshall and ECU between Friday and Nov. 14.
“In these next four weeks, we take it game by game,” Alvey said. “We never hop games and look ahead. Our focus now is 100 percent to take care of what we need to take care of at home. It will be nice to get ourselves in a rhythm at home as we turn and play the three top teams in conference.”