Two of the Buckeye State’s top teams along with the University of Oregon proved to be a little too much for the Cougars volleyball team during the season’s opening weekend, but the trip was not all negative.
Senior Katie Norris earned a spot on the Sports Imports DC Koehl Classic All-Tournament Team.
“Katie did a good job leading the team this weekend,” said first-year coach Kaddie Platt. Norris, along with fellow seniors Abby Simmons, Chandace Tryon, and Stephanie Nwachukwu, amassed 39 total kills with 18 digs and two block assists on defense. The Humble native had two double-doubles for the weekend.
Though the losses were tough and hard fought, Platt saw plenty of upside to the tournament results. “We have a lot of improvements to make as a team,” Platt said. “It was good to play some tough matches to see what we need to work towards.”
The tournament opened with a 3-2 loss to the University of Toledo Rockets. The first meeting between the two schools was a back-and-forth that ended with the Rockets winning by error, though Tryon’s offensive carried the team until the end.
Afterwards, it was a match against No. 24 Ohio State University, the first ranked team Cougars have played this year. Norris and Simmons helped UH rack a .240 attack percentage while freshman Olivia O’Dell came off the bench and added 11 digs, while Ohio State hit a quality .321 with 46 kills, overpowering UH in three straight sets.
The weekend wrapped up against No. 20 Oregon Ducks. The Cougars hit only .108 with 24 kills against the Ducks’ .344 and 47 kills, overpowering the Cougars in another three-set sweep. Setter Simmons put up a good defensive game with 21 assists.
This weekend, the Cougars will travel to Tennessee to compete in a tournament hosted by Lipscomb University. Play will open against the University of Missouri, then Appalachian State and finally host-team Lipscomb. After, the first home game will be played Sept. 7 against UTSA at the Athletics/Alumni Center.