Charuk shines, but Cougars lose first matches at Illini Classic
UH won a third of its games this weekend at the State Farm Illini Classic in Champaign, Ill.
The Cougars (3-2) pulled out a five-set victory against Tennesse on Saturday.
Previously, UH suffered back-to-back losses against No. 23 Dayton and No. 4 Illinois in early round matches.
After appearing rattled by their straight-set defeat (19-25, 19-25, 22-25) against the Flyers on Friday, the Cougars gained a confidence boost in pushing the Illini to four sets (10-25, 21-25, 26-24, 18-25) before falling to the Big 10 powerhouse.
Senior middle blocker Lucy Charuk averaged 11 kills through three games, and provided a shot of life for the Cougars after they fell to Dayton for their first loss of the season.
“She’s been doing a great job of being a leader on the court and then also off the court,” junior outside hitter Katie Norris said.“As far as telling people things that need to happen, and letting everybody know our standards.
“She really works to get the team on the same page.”
Alongside Charuk’s strong showing, Norris’s continued dominance at the net was another bright spot.
The junior transfer racked 24 kills through UH’s final matches against Illinois and Tennessee.
She also came up big defensively with 14 digs in Saturday’s matches.
Charuk and the Cougars will look to regroup Friday at the UK Invitational hosted by the Kentucky Wildcats.
First serve for UH is set for 10 a.m. against the West Virginia Mountaineers.