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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sports

Volleyball honors one of their own with tournament


Freshman outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh picked up 6 kills in Wednesday's win over Tulane. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The Cougars will look to capture their first tournament title behind strong play from junior outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

The UH volleyball team will host a tournament that honors an icon in the sport at the Athletics/Alumni Center on Friday.

The Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup got its name after a three-year letter winner from 1974 to 1976. She was also a collegiate All-American in every year she played and was inducted into the UH Hall of Honor in 1988.

The Cougars are coming off of a second-place finish at the Houston Cougar Classic. They went 2-1 during the weekend, with the team’s sole loss came against eventual-champion Idaho State University.

During the tournament, junior outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh led the Cougars with 46 total kills across three games. Sophomore middle blocker Chenelle Walker added 27 kills of her own. At the conclusion of the Cougar Classic, both players were named to the all-tournament team.

At 1 p.m., the Cougars will play their first opponent, the San Jose State University Spartans, who enter the match 4-2 overall. The Spartans’ last game resulted in a 3-1 loss to Utah Valley University.

Despite the two losses, SJSU has dominated opponents in their four victories, winning their games by a 12-1 margin.

The Spartans are led by 6-foot sophomore outside hitter Giulia Gavio, who is averaging 4.26 kills per game. The Cougars will need a strong defensive effort from their front court to stop her and freshman outside hitter Thelma Grettasdottir, who is also averaging over three kills per game.

Following their match against the Spartans, the Cougars will suit up one more time on Friday to take on the Houston Baptist University Huskies in a rematch from earlier this season.

In the previous meeting, the Cougars swept the Huskies on their home court to capture second place at the Marriott Westchase Invitational. During the game, the Cougars were led by junior outside hitter Brianna Lynch and freshman outside hitter Megan Duncan.

The duo combined to tally 25 kills and 12 digs.

The Cougars close out the tournament against the University of Louisiana at Monroe Warhawks at 3 p.m. Saturday.  The Warhawks are 3-6 on the season and are coming off of a 3-1 loss to Stephen F. Austin State University.

ULM has a strong front court that features three starters who are all 6 foot tall or over. The Warhawks back court has also been productive behind redshirt junior libero Kacey LeBlanc and sophomore setter Tara Jenkins.

After finishing as runner-ups for two weeks straight, the Cougars will look to capture their first tournament title of the season.

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