UH wins in three straight sets
The Cougars swept Lamar (25-22, 25-21, 25-22) on Tuesday at the Athletics/Alumni Center to close out their non-conference schedule.
“I think overall, composure-wise we did a good job of not getting rattled, not getting out of sync with one another,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “But I’d like to see us do a better job of having a sense of urgency before we get into a bind to earn those points. I thought we did a good job of keeping control and continuing to move the set forward and not getting hung up on mistakes.”
The Cougars earned a win in the second set easily, but had to rally to win in the first and third sets.
“The one adjustment that we made between set two and set three was that they needed to go up and start swinging faster,” Alvey said. “You could clearly see that Lucy made that adjustment, and she was swinging extremely fast and it produced kill after kill for her. Once Chandace saw that as well, she made that adjustment and she started scoring too.”
UH rallied back with three straight kills and a block at the net by junior middle blocker Chandace Tryon to bring the score to 6-8.
Tryon and senior middle blocker Lucy Charuk dominated the rest of the match and UH took its first lead at 21-20. Charuk and Tryon notched seven and three kills, respectively, in the set.
For the match, Charuk had a game high of 15 kills.
“I was just really excited for this match,” Charuk said. “Coming off of the weekend, I guess I was feeling pretty confident. Once things started rolling and I was getting more and more kills, I felt like I could swing hard every time and they just couldn’t touch me.”
The Cougars’ composure helped them come back from the early deficits in sets one and three.
“Without getting crazy and yelling at each other, we come into the middle and take a deep breathe and know that we can make the plays to make the next point and bring ourselves out of that five-point hole,” Charuk said.
“We managed to keep control on our side, which is hard when you play a team that is very chaotic. When things aren’t going our way, we’re able to step back and relax going into the next point and that helped us be more successful instead being crazy all over the place like they were.”
Defensively, freshman Natalie Keck led the Cougars with a game high 13 digs, and freshman Caitlin Ogletree finished with a game high of 36 assists.
The Cougars came into the match without much downtime, returning from a weekend tournament in Kentucky less than 48 hours earlier.
“It’s difficult,” Alvey said. “I think it’s difficult when you come off of a tournament like that and you’re playing at a major venue against a top 25 or 50 team like Kentucky with only one day of partial recovery, practice and to then be back in the gym. I think the bonus is we’re at home and we don’t have to do that on the road. I’m proud of them for winning and doing it in three.”
The Cougars begin play in Conference USA against Rice (3-5) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Tudor Fieldhouse.
“We get right back into it,” Alvey said. “We don’t have a lot of time to prepare now for conference. In less than a week we head to Rice and I think it’s a total shift in gears to have to then turn on your conference brain because everyone is out to get you.”