Sports Volleyball

Volleyball’s Kenna Sauer has quickly found a home at UH

Kenna Sauer immediately made an impact for UH, getting 18 kills in the team’s win over USC to start the season. | Oscar Herrera/The Cougar

No. 20 Houston Volleyball has found much success in  its inaugural Big 12 season, thanks in part to three transfer portal additions from this past offseason.

The most notable of which has been graduate outside hitter Kenna Sauer, who immediately made her presence in UH’s season-opening win against then-No. 22 USC by leading the team with an impressive 18 kills.

Having spent her first two years at Missouri before transferring to Texas Tech, Sauer’s quick impact at UH is due in part to her experience adjusting and meshing with new surroundings.

“I have been with many different programs and worked with a lot of different coaching staffs and teammates,” Sauer said. I know how to work well with different kinds of people and build those relationships.”

Upon her arrival, Sauer recalls becoming quickly acquainted with the UH volleyball culture.

“The coaches have built something super awesome here,” Sauer said. “We have a lot of fun, but we can also go into business mode and get better. They care about us as people, and that helps us to play better volleyball.”

The Ankeny, Iowa native has had valuable experience playing in a Power 5 conference. During her two seasons with the Red Raiders, Sauer was named to the All-Big 12 First Team twice and led the team in kills and points.  

After having so much success in the conference, Sauer is no stranger to the competition. Last season, Sauer posted a career-high 22 digs against West Virginia, who the Cougars will face in October.

“I think my experience playing in the Big-12 is huge,” Sauer said. “I have played the teams we will play and played at the places we will be playing at.”

While playing for many programs has given Sauer expertise, she embraces the challenges it brings.

“It can be tough joining a new team,” Sauer said. “But it’s been easy to transition to UH because the girls have been really great.” 

After just a few short months in Houston, Sauer’s mindset has helped her to find her place.

“I just knew going into it I wanted to be myself,” Sauer said. “One day you show up, and it just feels like home.”

Her work connecting with the team has paid off on the court. She has recorded 98 kills and 99 digs to start the season, second and third on the team, respectively.

Thanks to her contributions, UH has found its rhythm as it goes into its Big 12 schedule, having only lost just two sets in the last three games.

“I knew I could do big things here at UH,” Sauer said. “There are things I still want to get done in my final season.”

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