Volleyball to search first conference win in matchups outside Texas
Looking for their elusive first American Athletic Conference win of the season, the Cougar volleyball team hits the road this weekend for matchups against East Carolina University and the University of Cincinnati.
Coming off a heartbreaking loss to the University of Memphis over the weekend, the Cougars (5-22, 0-16) hope to continue the strong play that gave them a 2-1 lead against the Tigers.
The ECU Pirates (14-12, 4-12) welcome the Cougars on Friday night having lost six straight despite having one of the top defenses in the conference. They currently rank second in opponent’s hitting percentage (.179) and first in blocks per set (2.29).
In a close match, the Pirates took the first contest between the two in straight sets 3-0 (30-28, 28-26, 25-17) behind a double-double from setter Sabrina Gonzalez.
Junior outside hitter Brianna Lynch scored a game-high 13 kills in a contest that featured 31 ties and had two sets where neither team ever had a larger-than-three lead.
The Cougar defense will have to contend with Pirate middle hitter Ashley McRae, who ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage. The senior has made her chances count this season, totaling 194 kills against just 51 errors.
Hoping to snap a four-game losing streak against the Bearcats, the Cougars will travel to Cincinnati for their final match of the season Sunday afternoon.
The Bearcats (18-9, 13-3) are currently second in conference standings and have won two straight.
Featuring two of the conference leaders in kills — sophomore outside hitters Jordan Thompson (first, 4.82 killers per set) and Carly Nolan (eighth, 3.2) — Cincinnati ranks second in the conference in hitting percentage despite being only sixth in kills per set.
Cincinnati didn’t have any trouble in the first contest of the season between the two, securing the victory in straight sets 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-16).
The Bearcat offense was dominant, hitting .471 in the contest while out-killing the Cougars 45-33 with only five attack errors.