Strong opener breeds high hopes for Cougar volleyball


The Cougars came to play in this weekend’s Houston Cougar Classic, putting themselves at a 2-1 season start. | Catherine Lara/The Cougar

In the wake of the football season opener, Cougar volleyball put on a strong showing in the first Houston Cougar Classic.

As the Cougars strolled out of the locker room with new sneakers, freshly-taped ankles and a shared enthusiasm to start off the new season, it was clear they had big plans for the upcoming year.

The Cougars came out smoking hot in the opener, defeating Lamar in three straight sets. Red shirt junior Kadi Kullerkann and freshman Bryanna Lawrence led the way with 35 kills, outscoring Lamar as a team in kills with 28 by themselves.

Kullerkann continued to dominate against the Texas State Bobcats and was joined by senior Cortney Warren with 18 kills. However, despite their efforts and outscoring Texas State 93-88, the Cougars still fell short to the Bobcats in a nail-biter as they took the third and fourth sets.

The Cougars closed out the tournament against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest with a packed and rowdy crowd cheering their lungs out. Although it took an extra fifth set, the Cougars were able to finish off the Deacons with a 15-11 win and end the tournament on a good note.

Third-year coach Kaddie Platt and her ladies seemed poised to make another leap toward winning the conference championship. With 10 strong returning starters, including libero Natalie Keck and hitters Cortney Warren and Kadi Kullerkann, who was named to the American preseason team, it’s clear the girls are ready to achieve their goals.

Next up for Houston as they try to improve on their 18-15 record of last year is the Big Daddy’s Invitational in Louisiana.

The next home game will be part of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Sept. 12 and 13.

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