Houston (10-7, 2-2 C-USA) hits the road to face Conference USA rivals East Carolina and Marshall after collecting three consecutive wins at home.
The Cougars have won six of their last eight games, with their two losses coming against C-USA opponents Tulane and UTEP. They hope the momentum gained from their win over Texas State will give them an edge over the Pirates and Thundering Herd.
The team was able to overcome a two-set lead by Texas State, but doesn’t want to come from behind against ECU or Marshall.
"We just kind of let up a little bit and started to make a few more errors. We missed some serves. It’s just the little things that made us fall behind and lose those few points," sophomore middle blocker Lucy Charuk said.
Head coach Bill Walton said the team must improve on returning the ball to the other team aggressively.
"I think (Texas State) covered really good in the first game, and I don’t think we covered very well at all," Walton said. "A lot of balls got blocked back, but they weren’t blocked straight down, and nobody was there picking them up."
The Cougars had 11 service errors against the Bobcats, and Walton said they must eliminate such mistakes and not give up opportunities to score.
"When you miss 11 serves, that’s… 11 bad passes where you have a chance for a point and (the other team) just get(s) to rotate," he said.
Walton said committing errors causes momentum to swing to the opposing team.
"They feel like they’re playing good when they’re really not. You’re just playing bad," he said.
East Carolina (11-9, 1-4 C-USA) comes off four consecutive conference losses. The Pirates watched two-set leads slip away against Southern Miss on Friday and UCF on Sunday. Houston leads the all-time series 7-1.
ECU junior right side hitter Stephanie Turner had 31 kills and 25 digs last weekend, posting consecutive double-doubles against the Golden Eagles and Knights.
Marshall (8-7, 1-4 C-USA) hopes to snap a three-game losing streak after losing 3-2 to both UCF on and Southern Miss over the weekend. Marshall is 4-1 against Houston and swept the Cougars 3-0 at the Athletics/Alumni Center in their last meeting.
Junior outside hitter Emily Sullivan had 20 kills against UCF and leads the Thundering Herd with 166 on the season.
The Cougars face off against ECU at 6 p.m. Friday and will take on Marshall at noon Sunday. Game stories will be posted on The Daily Cougar’s Web site.