UH moves to 5-4 in Conference play
Despite a clean 3-0 sweep against East Carolina, the big upset of the weekend was UH handing Marshall its first loss since Sept. 21.
“It was a good team win for us,” said senior setter Abby Simmons. “We’ve been practicing really hard, and it was great to see that translate into the game.”
With a win against ECU on Friday in Greenville, North Carolina put UH’s record up to 4-4, earning the team its first sweep on the road. With a total of 44 kills and a .294 attacking percentage, the Cougars were sharp-hitting on offense.
Senior outside hitter Katie Norris took the lead with 16 kills. Senior middle blocker Chandace Tryon and sophomore middle blocker Kaiti Waters turned in totals of 10 and eight kills, respectively. While Simmons helped set the offensive tone with 39 assists.
“It was nice to pick up another road win,” said head coach Kaddie Platt.
On defense, freshman defensive specialist Olivia O’Dell put in a team-high 10 digs, leading in the category. At the net, the Cougars posted four solo blocks and 10 block assists. The performances were enough to take all three matches and get UH its second straight road win.
By Sunday, the Cougars were ready for the Thundering Herd.
“We knew Marshall was tied for first and it was a very important game for us,” Tryon said. “We try to go game-by-game and beating them would put us where we wanted to be.”
With a win in the first set and a tough loss in the second, the Cougar offense fell into place in sets three and four.
“We came out prepared,” said Platt. “We did a great job of battling to get the win.”
Two service aces by sophomore defensive specialist Natalie Keck were good company for the team’s total of 16 block assists, with Tryon and freshman middle blocker Emily Howard putting in four each. Norris and senior middle blocker Stephanie Nwachukwu added three.
The hallmarks of sets three and four were the close scoring, with Houston winning 25-21 and 25-23 to close out the match. Points came in small bursts, allowing UH to stay in front of Marshall by slim margins in the last two sets.
“We can compete with anyone in the conference, most definitely,” Tryon said.