Strong start aside, volleyball digs for more improvement
The volleyball team showcased their winning ways by going 2-1 over the weekend at the Marriott Houston Westchase Invitational hosted at Houston Baptist University.
After opening the season with a 3-1 victory over the University of Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday, the Cougars went 1-1 on Saturday, dropping their first match of the day by a score of 1-3 to Weber State University.
The Cougars ended on a high note, however, by capping off the season’s first tournament with a 3-0 sweep of HBU.
“We have composure under pressure and that will help us in the long run,” Head coach Kaddie Platt said. “We were still relaxed even when it was 26-26 and you don’t always see that in players.”
Sharp Gym on the campus of HBU is familiar territory for Platt. She spent 17 seasons with the Huskies and accumulated a 499-157 record in her tenure before becoming the Cougars head coach.
The new faces on the Cougars made an impact in the season opener against ULL as freshman libero Katie Karbo led the way with 28 digs. Freshman right side Megan Duncan recorded 10 kills, a mark good for second on the team.
“I’m not the type of person who gets nervous usually, but (when) all my jitters are out I’m ready and excited to play,” Duncan said.
Junior outside hitter Brianna Lynch was the star on Friday night by tallying a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs.
Following this victory, the players were back bright and early on Saturday for a match against Weber State at 10 a.m. Despite getting off to a quick start and taking the first set, the Cougars dropped three straight sets for their first loss of the season.
After being held to .065 hitting in the third set and falling behind 9-5 in the fourth set, the Cougars went on an 8-4 run after a much-needed timeout. Volleyball played Weber State point-for-point from that moment on before eventually suffering 26-28 loss.
Duncan continued her strong play in the second game, securing her first career double-double with a team-high 12 kills and 11 digs. Duncan fell one dig shy of back-to-back double-doubles in the victory over host HBU on Saturday night, totaling 10 kills and 9 digs while hitting .450 in the sweep.
“I’m feeling that we have chemistry and as we keep progressing, we’ll get better and better and win more games,” Duncan said.
Duncan’s strong performance in the opening tournament gives the volleyball team something to be excited about. As the team continues to mesh, look for Duncan to be a centerpiece in volleyball’s success.
Senior middle blocker Hunter Wise also had a big impact, finishing the opening tournament with 18 kills and eight block assists over the three matches — good for third and second on the team, respectively. Despite her personal success, Wise knows that it will be a collective effort for the team to reach their goals.
“We want to win conference, do the best we can and finish the best that we can,” Wise said. “We want to be better players, a better team and be good teammates to each other. We want to have that drive to want to be the best.”
Although the team would have liked to win the tournament, going 2-1 and finishing runner-up is nothing to scoff at.
Platt recognizes how well her team played, but still believes there is room for improvement.
“Every next game is the most important one,” Platt said. “We want to get into a rhythm in our offense and have a lot more energy and effort in our defense.”