Volleyball team pushes win streak to 7
The Cougars increased their winning streak to seven matches with Friday night’s 3-0 sweep of East Carolina and a 3-2 win over Marshall on Sunday at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
“It was a big win,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “Marshall came off a big win against Rice and was coming in here pumped up and ready to go. I think it was huge for us to step up and win; we haven’t been in a five-set match in a long time.”
Sunday was senior day for the Cougars, who honored libero Amanda Carson and outside hitter Marluci Toazzi.
“It’s crazy,” Carson said. “I just can’t believe how fast these four years have gone by. It’s definitely bittersweet. It’s ending an old chapter of my life and starting a new one.”
Carson is a four-year starter for the Cougars from Allen, and Toazzi is a two-year starter from Ivoti, Brazil who transferred to UH after playing at Arizona Western College.
“(There are) a lot of emotions,” Toazzi said. “Everything goes through your mind and you remember it all at once. It has been amazing to be here.”
The Cougars (19-10, 13-4 C-USA) were led by Chandace Tryon’s 15 kills against Marshall. Lucy Charuk chipped in with 14 kills, and Toazzi tied a career-high with 12 kills in their 25-22, 23-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-8 win over the Thundering Herd.
“The past couple of games we won in three, so this was definitely a challenge for us,” Carson said.
The opening game had Marshall off to a strong three-point lead, but the Cougars fought back to take a 22-19 lead and hang on for the win.
The second game started out in Marshall’s favor, as it jumped out to a 16-8 lead. The Cougars rallied back on a 9-2 run to pull within 18-17, but the Herd held on.
The Cougars raced out to an 8-0 lead in the third game, but the Herd settled down and went on an 11-5 run to cut UH’s lead to two. The Cougars went up 24-17 and outlasted Marshall from there.
The fourth game was tied 17-17 after the Herd established a 14-11 lead. Marshall then took a slim 24-23 lead, looking to force a decisive fifth game. The Herd scored the final point to win 25-23.
The Cougars, however, dominated the fifth game, coasting to a 15-8 victory.
“We didn’t come out as sharp as we usually do,” Carson said. “We just need to prepare better and just get more of a focus next game.”
In Friday’s match against East Carolina, the Cougars rolled the Pirates 25-19, 25-17, 25-14 to sweep both matches in this season’s series.
Stephanie Nwachukwu led the Cougars with 12 kills, while Toazzi contributed 11.
UH dominated all three games against the one-win Pirates, holding them below 20 points in every match.
The Cougars cruised to a 25-19 victory in the first game. The second game was no different, as the Cougars went up 16-6 to coast to a 25-17 win. The Cougars ran out to a 12-8 lead in the third game en route to finishing the match on a 13-6 run.
“We preach … that every time you step up on the court, you prepare the same way,” Alvey said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Tulsa or Marshall. We’ve got to mentally prepare every time we step on the court.”