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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sports

Volleyball to end season at home with two matchups


Volleyball-WEB

Volleyball is down to their final two attempts at earning an American Athletic Conference victory. | Justin Cross/The Cougar

Looking to end the season on a high note, the women’s volleyball team hopes to notch that elusive first American Athletic Conference win with two games over the Thanksgiving Break.

The team welcomes the University of South Florida Wednesday and the University of Central Florida Friday. Both matches start at 1 p.m. at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

A bright spot in the disappointing season for the Cougars (5-24, 0-18) has been junior setter Keandra McCardell, who fell one dig shy of her sixth straight double-double Saturday at Cincinnati.

The Missouri City, Texas native ranks seventh in the American Athletic Conference with 6.59 digs per set and is currently seventh all-time in career digs at Houston.

In the first match of the season against USF, the Cougars fell 3-1 (13-25, 21-25, 25-23, 12-25) behind a career-high 14 kills from freshman outside hitter Faith Squier.

Fellow freshman Katie Karbo added 20 digs from the libero position and currently ranks fifth in the conference with 4.39 digs per set.

The Bulls (17-13, 8-10) enter the contest having lost six of their last eight matches, including a 3-0 loss to Temple University last Sunday.

In their final match of the 2016 regular season, the Cougars host UCF for Senior Night and will recognize Hunter Wise and Marisa Guzman.

The Knights (22-9, 12-6) bring a well-balanced team that ranks second in the conference in four categories while ranking third in another.

Senior outside hitter Jalé Hervey, who is third in the conference with 469 total kills and 4.38 per set, led the UCF offense. She enters the week with double-doubles in each of her past three matches and a season-high 26 kills against the University of Memphis on Nov. 6.

UCF got the best of Houston 3-0 (20-25, 19-25, 20-25) in their first matchup at USF after a change in venue due to Hurricane Matthew. McCardell recorded 20 assists in the contest while Karbo led all players with 19 digs.

The Cougars must do all they can to get into an offensive rhythm against a team that held them to just .081 hitting percentage with 33 kills.

A win in either match will prevent the team from going winless in conference play and snap the team’s twenty-game losing streak.

sports@thedailycougar.com

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