Cougars fight adversity in Flo Hyman Cup
The Cougars continued their strong start to the season going 2-1 to finish second in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup this past weekend. Overall, the Cougars moved to 6-3 with three matches left before the start of AAC play.
While the Cougars won both of their two matches against Oral Roberts University and Sam Houston State University, victory didn’t come easily as Houston faced plenty of adversity in both matches.
In the team’s match Friday night, ORU won the first set 25-19. However, the Cougars quickly responded to win the next 3 games 25-18, 25-21 and 25-23.
Defense reigned supreme in the match with the Cougars totaling 16 blocks, led by senior Kaiti Waters’ seven blocks, holding ORU to .027 hitting in the second set.
In the next match against SHSU, Houston jumped to an early 2-0 lead as they won the first 2 sets 25-22 and 25-18. SHSU didn’t give up and fought their way back to force a fifth set after winning the next two sets 25-13 and 25-23.
Led by redshirt junior Kadi Kullerkann’s career-high 31 kills and freshman Keandra McCardell’s 59 assist and 12 dig double-double, the Cougars rallied for a 16-14 victory in the decisive final set.
When asked about how the team responded to the adversity, Coach Kaddie Platt said she is proud of the team’s efforts.
“They did a good job at displaying resilience and making sure to take it one point at a time,” said Platt.
After that tough match the Cougars had a short rest before playing the undefeated University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Houston fought hard but lost in straight sets 25-23, 25-20 and 25-22.
With conference play just around the corner, Platt thinks there is still some work to do.
“We have a lot to improve on, and it really has to do with being disciplined in transition and in our defensive system,” said Platt. “We got some good wins and what we’ve shown is that we’re good at battling with people.”
The Cougars had two players named to the all-tournament team with Kullerkann and senior Hunter Wise, who finished with 19 kills and hitting .320 for the tournament.
The Cougars travel to San Antonio for a match against University of Texas-San Antonio on the 18th and the next day head down to Corpus Christi for the Islanders Classic where they will take on UT-Pan American and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.