Nov. 5, 2011
HOUSTON - Behind career nights from junior Katie Norris and freshman Kadi Kullerkann, the University of Houston volleyball team knocked off Marshall, 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-12), Saturday night at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
Norris led the Cougars, who improved to 17-8 on the season and 10-5 in Conference USA play, with 25 kills, while hitting .375. Kullerkann finished with 20 kills, while freshman Caitlin Ogletree had 65 assists and freshman Natalie Keck had 19 digs.
"A win like this for a team that's been down is very good," head coach Molly Alvey said. "We did some really great things tonight. I was impressed with the way Katie bounced back from last night. Tonight, she was the player that I've envisioned her to be."
"Caitlin was absolutely amazing tonight. She made some great decisions and some unbelievable sets. Leadership-wise, she was solid. I thought leadership wise she was our solid leader out on the court. Lucy played a good game as well and Kadi stepped in and did some good things. It wasn't our sharpest volleyball match, but when you're in a little slump this is what you need to come out of it. You just need a team playing solid volleyball together."
Marshall jumped out early on the Cougars to take a 7-3 lead in the opening set, prompting a timeout from the Houston bench. UH came out of the break to tie the score 13-13, but the Thundering Herd once again took control of the set, playing to a 20-17 lead. Houston came within 23-22 late, but Marshall held off the Cougars to earn a 25-23 win.
Houston trailed the Thundering Herd to open the second set, but they battled back to tie the score 16-16. After giving up the lead, Marshall called its first timeout. The Cougars came off the bench to build a 20-17 lead, before evening the match with a 25-22 win.
After trailing 10-5 to start the third set, Houston went on a 4-0 run to pull within one, 10-9, of the Thundering Herd. Marshall answered to regain an 18-14 lead, and force the Cougars to call a timeout. Marshall took control of the set after the break and went on to take the 25-21 win.
The Cougars opened the fourth set to a 5-3 lead, but allowed Marshall to come back and tie the score 7-7. The two teams traded points before Houston built an 18-15 lead and forced a Thundering Herd timeout. Marshall came off the bench to get within one of the Cougars, 19-18, but UH held off the rally and evened the match with a 25-22 win.
Houston played to an 8-7 lead in the final set, before allowing Marshall to tie the score 9-9. The Cougars scored the next points to regain the lead, 10-9, prompting a timeout from the Thundering Herd bench. UH added to its lead out of the break, but Marshall would battle again to within one, 13-12. The Cougars called a timeout to regroup and scored the next two points to earn the 15-12 win.
The Cougars will remain in Houston next weekend for matches against SMU and Tulsa. Houston will open the weekend against the Mustangs at 7 p.m., Nov. 11 and close out the weekend against the Golden Hurricane at 1 p.m., Nov. 13.