The UH volleyball team is off to its best start since 2002, with the team extending its win streak to four with a 3-0 sweep of Prairie View A&M University.
The Cougars won their first home game of the season in front of nearly 400 fans against the Lady Panthers, winning each set by comfortable margins.
Coming off its success in the UNO Invitational, Houston continued its spark and jumped out to an early 5-3 lead in the opening set thanks to an acrobatic dig by junior Katie Karbo, which led to a spike by sophomore Silvia Pertens.
Following Pertens’ powerful spike, Houston seized the momentum and went on a 6-1 run that was highlighted by another commanding kill from sophomore Gabi Zelaya.
PVAMU was forced to use its first timeout of the match after falling to an early 11-5 deficit, which proved too difficult to overcome.
Following the Lady Panthers’ timeout, the Cougars started another run with kills from Zelaya and juniors Megan Duncan and Faith Squier. Prairie View used another timeout as the lead ballooned to 18-7.
UH cruised to the first set victory, 25-10, and racked up a total of 14 kills, with Zelaya leading the team with five and Pertens and Duncan each adding three.
“I think we really worked as a group,” said freshman Alexis Cheatum. “We stayed calm and played at a high level.”
The second set was the closest of the three, as the Cougars faced their largest deficit of the evening, forcing head coach Kaddie Platt to call a timeout after trailing 7-3.
PVAMU kept the pressure on UH throughout the first 20 serves of the set until Houston benefited from an error-filled run, securing a 17-11 lead. Seven of UH’s 10 points during the streak were from PVAMU mistakes.
Houston used its commanding lead to finish off the set 25-16.
The Cougars finished the set with a total of 12 team kills, with Duncan, Zelaya and Pertens each notching three.
“I think this game really shows our potential,” said freshman Jordan Lockwood.
The third and final set of the game was Houston’s most statically stacked of the three, as the team recorded 15 team kills, a .519 hitting percentage and only committed one error.
The Cougars put the pressure on the Lady Panthers early and jumped to an 11-4 lead, which ultimately turned to 15-5 before PVAMU was forced to call a timeout. UH continued to dominate the match and eventually won the third set 25-11, its third sweep of the season.
Zelaya led the team with 12 kills throughout the evening, and Duncan added another 10 to the Cougars’ tally. Senior Katie Krebs and sophomore Abby Irvine led the team in assists with 18 and 15, respectively, while Karbo accounted for 22 of the team’s 47 digs.
“We have to learn how to win,” Platt said. “Every win you get gives you a little momentum and a little confidence.”
UH returns to the court Friday in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic in Lafayette, where it will play four matches in two days.