Sports Volleyball

UH volleyball opens up Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup with two wins

UH volleyball improved to 4-1 with two wins in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Friday. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH volleyball improved to 4-1 with two wins in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Friday. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH volleyball picked up its third straight win after beating the Central Arkansas Bears in straight sets to open up the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup on Friday morning.

It was a fierce beginning to the first set as UH jumped out to an 8-4 lead before Central Arkansas quickly battled back with six straight points to go up two.

From then on, the two teams went back and forth the rest of the way with 13 ties. The Cougars fought their way to a 27-25 win in a razor-close first set thanks to the help of seven kills from senior outside hitter Abbie Jackson and a set-leading nine assists from junior setter Annie Cooke.

After going down two to start the second set, the Cougars responded with a 5-1 run to go up 9-7, benefitting from three Central Arkansas errors.

UH extended their lead to four thanks to kills from Jackson and graduate middle blocker Isabel Theut, going up 14-10 before a Central Arkansas timeout.

The Bears came out of the timeout strong, getting to within one after a service ace, but UH quickly responded with a 5-0 to go up 20-14, forcing another Central Arkansas timeout.

The Cougars cruised the rest of the way as sophomore middle blocker Kellen Morin and senior setter Morgan Janda capped off a 25-18 second set win to put UH one set away from victory.

UH jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the third set, and after two points from the Bears, the Cougars went on a 4-0 run capped off by a Theut kill to put the score at 11-6 as Central Arkansas was forced to call timeout.

UH continued to build on their lead and had little trouble closing out Central Arkansas as two kills from graduate outside hitter Warren Kennedy and five assists from Janda down the stretch helped the Cougars win the third set 25-15 and finish the sweep of the Bears.

UH continued its hot streak that evening with an emphatic sweep of the Alabama Crimson Tide in their second match of the Flo Hyman Collegiate.

The Cougars would begin the game with two early errors but would bounce back after a challenge from head coach David Rehr and pull ahead 8-5 with two kills each from Jackson and Theut.

UH maintained that lead up 11-8 before Alabama would quickly tie up the game with a 3-0, but the Cougars would respond with a 4-1 to go up 15-12 at the media timeout.

Despite a quick flurry from the Crimson Tide to bring it to within one, graduate outside hitter Kortlyn Henderson led a 5-1 run with two kills and a block assist to force Alabama to call a timeout with UH leading 21-16.

Three Alabama errors helped UH close out the first set with a 25-20 win. 

Two straight kills from senior middle blocker Rachel Tullos and a service ace helped the Cougars jump out to an early 8-3 in the second set, as a service by Jackson quickly forced the Tide to call a timeout.

UH was largely able to stave off two separate 3-0 runs from Alabama thanks to critical kills from Jackson and Morin that helped maintain their lead at 16-13 before going on a run of their own to go up 19-13.

Alabama errors once again allowed the Cougars to win the second set 25-15 and take a commanding lead entering the third, as another successful Rehr challenge awarded UH set point.

Jackson and Theut again helped the Cougars start strong in the third set, as each added two kills in a dominant 13-5 starting run, all of which were set up by senior setter Morgan Janda,the game’s assist leader with 29.

UH maintained their large lead when a kill by Tullos put the Cougars up 20-12 as they threatened to win their 12th straight set dating back to August 26th.

The Cougars went on to win the set 25-17 and their fourth straight game.

UH will wrap up the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup by taking on Oregon State on Saturday evening.

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