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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Volleyball

Cougars battle to break second place tie


Setter Caitlin Ogletree has helped set up the Cougars’ frontline for the second best hitting percentage in Conference USA (.250). Ogletree leads UH with 794 assists. | Yulia Kutsenkova/The Daily Cougar

Setter Caitlin Ogletree has helped set up the Cougars’ frontline for the second best hitting percentage in Conference USA (.250). Ogletree leads UH with 794 assists. | Yulia Kutsenkova/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars have enjoyed the confines of the Athletics/Alumni Center.

UH (14-5, 7-2 C-USA) has been perfect on its home court, but face their strongest test yet Friday against UAB (17-4, 7-2).

UH is currently tied with UAB for second place in C-USA.

“This is the only time we have a match-up with them,” head coach Molly Alvey said. “So they’ll be pumped up to go. This is the only opportunity they have to take us down.

“Just the status of conference, and the single match opportunity, it also makes this a very exciting weekend for us.”

Putting together one of its strongest performances of the year in the back-to-back wins against UTEP and UCF last weekend, the Cougars offense showed its true potential in the wins — clean, efficient hitting and minimal mental lapses.

Against UCF, the offensive output reached a season high. Middle blocker Lucy Charuk notched 23 kills, hitting over .500.

After a few rocky early season performances, senior Chandace Tryon broke out, racking 12 kills and 4 digs for her most complete performance of the year.

The player setting up all of the Cougars hitters hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Freshman setter Caitlin Ogletree notched 58 assists against UCF, and earned C-USA setter of the week honors for the third time this season. Her 11.18 assists per set rank third in C-USA.

UAB drops first matches

After enjoying a ten-match win streak through the month of September, the Blazers dropped their first contests in conference last weekend with back-to-back losses against Tulsa and SMU.

Junior Sam Serley currently leads C-USA in hitting percentage at .426 through nine conference matches.

“They’ve been on quite a run themselves,” Ogletree said. “So we’ve got to come out prepared to play Friday — mentally, and as far as our game plan.

“We’re all paying attention to the standings, and we know how important this weekend is for this program.”

UH tips things off against the Blazers at 7 p.m. Friday at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

The Cougars will follow that with a matinee showdown against Memphis (15-7, 4-5) at 1 p.m. Sunday.


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