Volleyball Defeats Tulane, 3-1, To Remain Perfect In C-USA Action
Sept. 25, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston volleyball team opened Conference USA play 3-0 for the first time since 2007 with a 3-1 (20-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-14) win over Tulane Sunday afternoon at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
With the win, Houston improves to 10-3 and 3-0 in league action.
"Starting league play 3-0 is important for us because we're going to play Tulsa and SMU, the top two preseason conference picks, on the road next weekend," head coach Molly Alvey said. "When you get wins it gives you confidence no matter how you get them and that helps with us going into two of our biggest matches."
Junior Stephanie Nwachukwu tied her career-high with 16 kills to lead the Cougars. She also had 16 kills in a 3-2 win over Southern Miss on Friday night. Senior Lucy Charuk added 13 kills and four blocks, while senior Ingrida Zauere finished the match with 12 kills.
"Lucy came in and gave us a lot of energy," Alvey added. "She made huge plays at the end of the third set. Stephanie did the same thing by getting some big time kills as well. The energy and the momentum they helped us create were the two biggest plusses to their game today."
The Cougars struggled out of the gate, dropping the first set but they were able to rebound and finish the match strong, winning the final three sets.
After Houston took a 7-4 lead to open the match, Tulane answered with a 4-0 run. Trailing 8-7, the Cougars scored the next two points to regain the lead, but a 6-0 run by the Green Wave put Houston in a 14-9 hole. UH pulled within two, 20-18, late in the set but Tulane held off the Cougars to take the opening set, 25-20.
Following the rough start, Houston bounced back to win the second set, 25-16. The Cougars opened to an 8-3 lead and after building an 18-11 lead, forced Tulane to call its second timeout of the set. Houston came off the bench taking two of the next three points on kills from freshman Kadi Kullerkann and cruised to a 25-16 win.
The Cougars finished the second set with 16 kills, while holding the Green Wave to seven. Nwachukwu connected on four of those kills in nine attempts.
With the match tied, Tulane jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the third set, but Houston would claw its way back to tie the score, 10-10. After trading points, the Green Wave took a 22-16 lead over the Cougars but UH would put together a 10-2 run to come from behind and knock off Tulane 26-24.
Nwachukwu finished the third set with six kills, while Charuk was 5-for-6 with a .833 hitting clip.
Houston took care of business in the final set. After taking an 8-4 lead, the Cougars went on a 6-3 run to increase their lead, 14-7. UH built a 10-point advantage, 21-11, late in the set and capitalized on two Tulane attack errors before winning the fourth set, 25-14.