Oct. 5, 2012
|Katie Norris||24||3||0||Stephanie Nwachukwu||14||0||0||Chandace Tryon||13||0||1||Abby Simmons||2||46||1|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
2 Houston has won two straight for the first time all season and picked up its second home win of the year.
8 Katie Norris recorded her eighth double-double of the season and fifth straight with 24 kills and 11 digs.
HOUSTON -- Senior Katie Norris fired off a season-best 24 kills and posted her fifth straight double-double to lead the University of Houston volleyball team over Tulane, 3-1, on Friday evening in Conference USA action.
The Cougars posted its second-straight win and second at home to even their conference record at 3-3 and improve the overall record to 4-12. Houston dominated all facets of the game, which included a .284 attacking percentage on 60 kills to Tulane's .088 percentage and 41 kills.
Norris' 24 kills led all attackers and was one shy of tying her career-best of 25, which came a year ago against Marshall. She finished with a season-best .322 attacking percentage on 59 attempts to lead the Cougars offensively. Joining her in double-digit kills were seniors Stephanie Nwachukwu and Chandace Tryon with 14 and 13, respectively. The trio combined for 51 of the 60 kills and posted an impressive .358 attacking percentage.
As a team, Houston committed only 18 errors in 148 attempts. The offense was paced by the strong play by senior setter Abby Simmons' 46 assists. Defensively, Houston was tagged with its fourth straight 20+ block assists effort, totaling 26 on the evening, led by Tyron and Nwachukwu with seven and six, respectively. Simmons led the Cougars with 18 digs, followed by sophomore Natalie Keck with 16, Norris with 11 for her eighth double-double and fifth straight, while junior Meredith Ware added 10.
HOUSTON 3, TULANE 1
SET 1: Houston 25, Tulane 21
Houston opened with five unanswered points with kills by Norris and Nwachukwu and a service ace by Simmons. The Cougars maintained a solid lead until Tulane rallied with four straight points to narrow Houston's lead to 8-6. Despite allowing the Green Wave to remain within a few points, Houston challenged along the net with 18 total kills. Both teams were back and forth, before Houston secured the final four points, which included two Tryon kills for a 1-0 lead.
SET 2: Houston 25, Tulane 10
Dominating from start to finish, Houston went ahead 3-0 and remained on top. A 7-1 run followed, which included back-to-back kills by Norris put the Cougars ahead 15-5, forcing a Tulane timeout. Houston strung together 16 kills and just three errors for a solid .342 attack percentage in the second set, led by the senior trio in Norris, Tryon and Nwachukwu with six, five and four kills each. The defense along the net proved strong as well, holding the Green Wave to just three successful kills and forcing them into eight attacking errors to go up 2-0 in the match.
SET 3: Tulane 25, Houston 21
Tulane built an early lead for the first time all night, remaining ahead from start to finish. Despite a strong Houston effort to narrow the score by two at 10-8, the Cougars weren't able to string together any offensive momentum as Tulane answered any point Houston posted. Houston made its best rally of the set when Tulane was up 22-17. The Cougars were tagged with a 4-1 run to make it a two-point set at 23-21. Tulane grabbed the final two points to force a fourth set.
SET 4: Houston 25, Tulane 14
Houston broke loose from a 2-2 tie to take the lead and never look back. Norris lifted Houston to a 12-7 lead following four kills over the next seven match points. The Cougars extended their lead at 19-9 after a 6-1 lead, which featured kills by Nwachukwu, Norris and five errors by Tulane. Four finale kills, two coming from Tryon and two from Norris sealed the convincing set four win for Houston.
Senior Katie Norris
"I thought it was a really good game. The first set we kind of came out a little slow but we pulled together at the end and took it for the win. The second set we just came out and played our game. We were focused throughout the whole thing. The third set was a little rough and a little rusty but we came out in the fourth set thinking we were going to win. From start to finish, we fought and battled. It was a really good game all the way around."
Head Coach Kaddie Platt
"In the first set we did not come out strong and it got very livid. We needed to come out working a little bit harder. Our serving and passing game was on but it wasn't very aggressive so we needed to tinker with that a little bit before Sunday's match. Overall, I'm pleased with their performance. We need a little more discipline on our blocking. We need to get stops and get our hands over the net. If we do that we can play defense behind."
Houston will wrap up weekend action at 1 p.m. Sunday when it hosts UTEP in Conference USA play.