Volleyball squad handles Loyola, BYU
The Cougars have their first winning streak of the season, following back-to-back wins against Loyola Marymount and BYU at the BYU Molten Classic.
UH (3-6) took two of three matches in Provo, Utah, including their most impressive win of the season Saturday night, a 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 25-23) victory against Loyola Marymount.
“The sweep is very significant because Loyola Marymount is a very good team,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “They’ve had some pretty good wins this season.”
The Cougars coasted to wins in the first two sets against LMU. The Lions were in a position to force a fourth set and avoid a sweep, but UH would not give them that opportunity. After a timeout and the score tied at 14, the Cougars battled back to hang on and win the third set 25-23.
Stephanie Nwachukwu and Chandace Tyron led the way with 11 kills each while Lucy Charuk chipped in with eight kills and five blocks.
In Saturday’s afternoon game, UH beat BYU in a five-set thriller (19-25, 25-16, 25-17, 19-25, 15-13).
“For us to be able to keep our composure, yet stay intense and compete is very important for us,” Alvey said. “To see what pressure feels like and to see how we perform under pressure just prepares us for matches yet to come.”
UH dropped the first set then rallied to win the next two games. But BYU battled back, taking the fourth set to force a fifth and deciding set. The Cougars scored five of the final eight points in the fifth set for 15-13 win.
The Cougars’ balanced scoring attack was led by Ingrida Zauere’s double-double of 12 kills and 10 digs. UH had four players record 10 or more kills. Charuk was strong again with 14 kills and seven blocks while Amber Brooks had a monster game with 47 assists.
“Ingrida performed phenomenal all weekend; she was incredibly consistent, not just in her attacking, but in her backcourt presence,” Alvey said.
In Friday night’s contest, the Cougars dropped their sixth match of the season for their only loss of the weekend to Wichita State 3-0 (14-25, 20-25, 22-25). Amanda Carson had 17 digs, and Zauere had 11.
UH fell behind 20-9 in the opening set to lose by 11.
“The main difference is nothing do with what we can do physically; it was all mental,” Alvey said. “I don’t think we mentally prepared for Wichita State. I don’t think we showed up to play to win.”
Charuk and Nwachukwu both received all-tournament honors. It was Charuk’s third consecutive all-tournament team selection and the first for Nwachukwu.