UH looks to take Longhorns’ thunder

The Cougar volleyball team finished up the 2008 Hotel Encanto Volleyball Classic in Las Cruces, N.M. with a 3-0 loss to Utah, putting its season record at 3-3.

At the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational in Austin this weekend, the Cougars look to turn the disappointment of that loss into motivation to beat state rivals Texas and Texas Tech.

The Cougars kick off against Georgia on Thursday in their third consecutive weekend road tournament and will face Texas and Texas Tech on Friday. Georgia is 4-1 on the season.

Texas (3-1) finished with a perfect record in the same tournament in New Mexico last weekend, sweeping both Utah and New Mexico State. The Longhorns are ranked third in the nation. All-American sophomore outside hitter Juliann Faucette, who averaged 9 kills per game over the weekend, will lead.

The Cougars lost 3-0 at their last meeting with Texas in 2004, and have not beat them since 2000.

Texas State goes into the tournament with a 4-4 record. Houston faced the Bobcats at San Marcos in 2007 and lost 3-1.

Houston seniors outside hitter Justine Farmer and setter Kelsey King are in their final seasons with the Cougars and are established leaders on the team.

King led the Cougars in New Mexico with 126 assists in three games and was named the Conference USA Setter of the Week on Monday. King ranks fourth in Conference USA in assists per set (10.12).

Farmer had a less satisfactory weekend, coming out of the tournament with 36 kills compared to the 52 she had in the Marquette Kickoff Tournament.

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