Sept. 23, 2012
NUMBERS OF NOTE
Houston earned its second victory of the season on Sunday.
3 Senior trio of Katie Norris (18), Stephanie Nwachukwu (14) and Chandace Tryon (11) combined for 43 of Houston's 54 kills in the win.
5 Katie Norris tallied her fifth double-double of the season and second straight with 18 kills and 17 digs.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The University of Houston volleyball team was led by a strong offensive effort by its senior trio en route to a 3-1 win at Memphis in Conference USA action on Sunday.
Despite falling in set one, the Cougars battled back to earn the next three set wins to improve to 2-12 on the year and 1-2 in C-USA play. With the loss, Memphis fell to 5-11 and 0-2
Houston racked up at least 12 kills in its final three sets, including an impressive 17-kills, .300 attack percentage performance in set two. Senior Katie Norris led the offense with 18 kills, followed by senior teammates Stephanie Nwachukwu and Chandace Tryon with 14 and 11 kills, respectively. Nwachukwu posted her best outing of the year with a .393 attacking effort to lead the Cougars. Senior setter Abby Simmons contributed with 43 assists, while sophomore Kaiti Waters recorded three service aces--all coming in set three.
Defensively, sophomore Natalie Keck led Houston with 18 digs, while Norris recorded her fifth double-double and second straight of the season, totally 17 digs to accompany her 18 kills.
Houston, as a team, all tallied a season-high 22 block assists, surpassing its previous high of 18, which came in a win at Lipscomb. Tryon led the blocking game with seven assists and one solo.
Memphis was led Marija Jovanovic's 15 kills.
"Today was a great team win," head coach Kaddie Platt
said. "We worked hard and showed discipline while competing through tough competition."
Abby played extremely well at the setter position and made smart decisions all day for us. Stephanie also had one of her best matches by being a solid block along the net, while producing smart attacking decisions."
HOUSTON 3, MEMPHIS 1
SET 1: Memphis 25, Houston 19
Both teams exchanged points and saw the set tied at 10-10 following back-to-back kills by Norris. Tryon also sparked the Houston offense with a block solo and a kill of her own. Memphis responded with a 5-1 run to go up 14-11. Nwachukwu and Tryon along with two attack errors trimmed Memphis' lead to two at 17-15. The Tigers took advantage of several Cougar miscues to extend their lead to 20-16. Freshmen Emily Howard and Shelby Vance kept the Cougars alive with consecutive kills, but Memphis went on to finish with three unanswered successful attacks of its own to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
SET 2: Houston 28, Memphis 26
Houston played one of its most impressive sets of the season, coming from behind to produce a final 14-5 run to earn a two-point win over Memphis. The Tigers went up 2-0, but kills by Norris and Nwachukwu tied the score up. Memphis edged Houston for much of the first half of the set. Down 14-10, Houston used a break and responded with a Tryon kill and a Simmons' block to trim the Tigers' lead. Houston used a three-kill run, two by Norris and one by Howard for the team's 14th point. Memphis would string together three points of its own for a 21-14 lead. The Cougars never backed down as Norris and Howard teamed up for two block solos down the stretch along with service aces by Simmons and Keck. With set point on the line for Memphis, the Cougars took advantage of an attack error and used a huge block assist by Tryon and Nwachukwu to pull within one at 24-23. Keck's ace tied it up, while Vance and Nwachukwu's block assist put Houston on top 26-25. The score remained tied until Memphis tallied two final attack errors for a Cougar win.
SET 3: Houston 25, Memphis 23
Houston used a 6-0 run that included three service aces by Waters to go up 6-3. The Cougars continued their strong offensive play with kills by Tryon, Norris, Nwachuwku and block two block assists to extend its early lead to 15-6. Five straight kills by Memphis followed to make it a 15-11 game, but Houston continued to respond to the Tigers' run, while regaining the lead with kills by Vance and Tryon. Up 19-16, Tigers used a kill and two Houston errors to tie the game at 19-19, but back-to-back kills by Nwachukwu put the Cougars ahead 23-22 before Memphis held steady to even the score again. Tryon and Nwachukwu would fittingly finish the set with a solid block assist and put Houston up 2-1.
SET 4: Houston 25, Memphis 22
Houston took advantage of Memphis miscues in the early going to see the set tied at 12-12. The Cougars held strong along the net to take the lead following a block solo by Norris, a block assist by Howard and Nwachukwu and a kill by Nwachukwu. After seeing Memphis regain its lead at 21-20, Houston put together one of its best finishes of the year, going on a final 6-1 run to cap its second win of the season.
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Houston will return home to host C-USA leader Tulsa at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 and SMU at 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30.