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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Volleyball

Volleyball team sweeps C-USA foes to remain in 3rd place


The Cougars tipped off their four-match homestand Friday with a 3-0 win against UAB followed by another 3-0

Outside hitter Ingrida Zaure (7) and the Cougars are in third place in Conference USA. They hope to get wins over conference opponents Marshall and East Carolina this weekend. | Courtesy of UH Athletics

victory Sunday against Memphis to increase their winning streak to five.

UH now sits alone in third place in the C-USA standings with five games remaining in the regular season.

Stephanie Nwachukwu led the Cougars (17-10, 11-4 C-USA) with 11 kills, and Chandace Tryon chipped in with nine kills in Sunday’s 25-16, 25-18, 26-24 win against the Tigers.

“We were very sharp today,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “We executed (our) offense very well today, and Chandace’s attacking got a lot stronger.”

The opening game had the Cougars out in front early, 11-6. The lead ballooned to 17-9 as the Cougars cruised to a 25-16 win in the first set.

In the second game, Memphis played better, tying it at 14 in a back-and-forth contest. The Cougars settled down after that, closing out the set on an 11-4 run to win 25-18.

The Cougars trailed 16-14 in the third game but rallied to take a 21-20 lead. Memphis regained the lead 23-22, but the Cougars tied it at 23. The Cougars scored three of the final four points to win the set 26-24 and the match.

“It was a great team effort, and we did a great job serving,” Alvey said. “I think overall the defense was pretty sharp.”

In the Cougars’ 25-19, 26-24, 32-30 win over UAB, Marluci Toazzi and Lucy Charuk both posted 12 kills.

“I think we started slow,” Toazzi said. “We had the momentum, but at the same time we were playing at the same level as they did. In the end, when we actually needed to step up, we stepped up.”

In the opening set, UH was up 17-15 and stood strong, finishing the set on an 8-4 run to snag the win.

The Cougars went on a 5-1 run in the second game, after trailing by three, to take a 7-5 lead. The game went down to the wire, as the Cougars went ahead 24-21, only to watch the Blazers answer with a 3-0 run to tie the score at 24.

UH held its ground and pushed for the win, scoring the final two points to take the set, 26-24.

The Cougars were in another battle in the third set, tied with the Blazers at 12. UAB went on a 5-0 run after trailing 16-13 to take an 18-16 lead. The Cougars answered with a 7-2 run to take a 23-20 lead. The Blazers countered with a 4-0 run to get the lead back at 24-23, hoping to force a fourth game.

The Cougars scored two quick points to take a 25-24 lead. UAB hung around to tie it at 26 to force deuce again. The Blazers took a 29-28 hoping to extend the match, but another UH response had it at 29-29. UH went up 31-30 and finally won it on a Charuk kill to win the set 32-30.

“We had opportunities to get it done earlier, (but) to keep your composure and stay in it says a lot,” Alvey said. “Amanda Carson stepped it up and showed great senior leadership. She did a nice job.”

After helping the Cougars sweep UAB and Memphis, junior Amanda Brooks was named C-USA Setter of the Week. Brooks posted 38 assists against UAB and delivered 33 more against Memphis.

The Cougars return to the court Friday against East Carolina before facing Marshall on Sunday.

“We have Marshall and ECU coming here, (teams) that we just played last weekend,” Alvey said. “It makes it a little bit difficult to play those two matches right away.”


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