Cougars battle surging Miners at home
After two weeks of mixed results on the road, the Cougars return to the Athletics/Alumni Center for a weekend homestand against UTEP and UCF.
UH (12-5, 5-2 Conference USA) opens the weekend against the Miners (15-5, 5-2), and rounds out play Sunday when they face struggling UCF for the first of two October meetings.
The Cougars sport a five-match winning streak at the Athletics/Alumni Center, but the Miners own an overall five-game streak of their own.
“We haven’t been on our home court in weeks,” freshman Caitlin Ogletree said. “And we really thrive off of the energy of our fans. So we’re excited to be back here and get going again.
“One of our goals during preseason was not to lose a match here, and we haven’t so far. So nobody doubts that this is a huge weekend for us.”
The Cougars impressed with two dominant wins against ECU last weekend, and will look to capitalize on the momentum gained against the Pirates, keeping in mind that UTEP stands in a very different position than ECU.
“ECU’s in a bit of rebuilding period, so it’s not easy to compare this match to another we’ve played,” head coach Molly Alvey said.
“We’re not in the position to take things for granted.”
The Miners, who are tied with UH and Rice for third in C-USA, enter the match-up ranked in the top three of C-USA in services aces, blocks, and opponent’s hitting percentage per match.
Ogletree receives conference honors
After UH’s two dominating performances against East Carolina, Ogletree was named C-USA Setter of the Week for the second time in the last three weeks.
The freshman finished with 95 assists and 20 digs in the back-to-back matches against the Pirates.
“Last weekend was really easy for me,” Ogletree said. “Lucy was up ready for me to set every time. I knew she was going to get me a kill every time, or at least open the middle up so I could trust my outside hitters.
“It’s definitely a great feeling for a setter to be able to count on everyone like that. But moving forward, we need these two wins. It’s a huge weekend for us.”
The Cougars look to continue their home-court dominance at 7 p.m. Friday against the Miners.
Sunday’s match against UCF tips off at 1 p.m.