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Saturday, December 4, 2021


Volleyball team hopes for success at home

The Cougars return home for their next four games, and are looking to extend a three-game winning streak this weekend starting tonight with UAB and Sunday against Memphis.

The Cougars will need a significant offensive contribution from Lucy Charuk (13) to be successful on their four-game homestand; she leads the team with 292 kills and 111 blocks. | Brianna Leigh Morrison/The Daily Cougar

UH (15-10, 9-4 Conference USA) has played well this season under first-year head coach Molly Alvey, and remains tied with Rice for third in the C-USA standings.

“The importance is finishing out the season on a high note,” Alvey said. “With all of our matches we have left we should be focused and prepared to come out and win.”

UAB (7-17, 4-8 C-USA) has lost 11 of 15 games, including their first match against the Cougars this season on Oct. 17. Marluci Toazzi led the Cougars’ balanced attack of four players with eight or more kills in the win.

Jordan McDonald is coming off a 21 kills and 20 digs performance for the Blazers in a 3-1 loss at Southern Miss. The Blazers are tied for seventh with UTEP in the C-USA standings.

“They have a good program going on there. I think they’re a very competitive group,” Alvey said. “We need to be smart with our first contact, serving and passing.”

Sunday’s game will be a revenge game for the Cougars, having already lost to Memphis 3-2 this year on Oct.15. Lucy Charuk led the Cougars with 17 kills in the loss, and Altrese Hawkins had 16 kills to lead the Tigers.

“It will be interesting with Memphis,” Alvey said. “Altrese actually played in the middle against us, and she’s been playing on the outside. I’m not sure exactly where they’ll play her.”

Memphis (14-10, 5-7 C-USA) has been a middle of the pack C-USA team. The Tigers have lost three of five games since the win against UH. They sit tied for sixth with UCF in C-USA.

“We’ll prepare like we do for everyone else,” Alvey said. “We always take it one match at a time. Once we are finished with UAB, we will move on to Memphis. We will make them our focus on Saturday.”

Charuk’s 292 kills and 111 blocks lead the Cougars this season. Amber Brooks leads the way in assists this season with 959, and Amanda Carson has 443 digs.

Tonight’s match against UAB has been moved to a 5 p.m. start with the UH football team scheduled to play UCF at Robertson Stadium at 7 p.m.

“It’s very easy to stop over here and support us before the football game, and for school spirit reasons it’s fun,” Alvey said. “You get to support two teams that are playing well in one night — I expect again that we will have a great crowd.”

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