HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Volleyball program returns to action and opens its 2017 home slate with the eighth annual Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup across Friday and Saturday inside Athletics/Alumni Center.
The Cougars (1-2) will host McNeese, Mississippi State and Stetson over the two-day tournament. Houston will face Stetson at 1 p.m. and McNeese at 7 p.m. on Friday, before closing with MSU in the tournament finale at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Flo Hyman Kids Clinic will take place following the tournament.
Tickets for the tournament are $5 for general admission. Houston students will receive free admission with their valid Cougar Card. Fans can also bring a canned food to donate to Hurricane Harvey for $3 tickets.
Live stats for all matches and streaming links for Houston matches can be found on the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup tournament central page on UHCougars.com or by clicking HERE.
Houston is 3-2 all-time in home openers under Head Coach Kaddie Platt. Platt, who has won her last three home openers with Houston, is 17-5 all-time in home-opening matches across her career.
The 2017 Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup marks the eighth time overall and seventh straight season the Cougars have hosted a tournament in honor of Houston all-time great Flo Hyman. The Cougars are 10-12 (Sets: 36-44) all-time in the tournament.
Houston is already familiar with McNeese as the Cowgirls claimed a 3-2 edge over the Cougars in the season opener. Houston is 5-1 (Sets: 16-6) all-time against McNeese and 2-0 (Sets: 6-1) when playing inside Athletics/Alumni Center. The Cougars are also 1-0 against Mississippi State, defeating the Bulldogs, 3-0, in 1984.
The Cougars enter their home opener with a 1-2 record. Houston defeated Southern, 3-0, in between falling 3-2 to McNeese and host UT Arlington at the UTA Invitational to open the season.
Senior outside hitter Brianna Lynch earned UTA Invitational All-Tournament honors during opening weekend. Lynch, who totaled 40 kills, averaged 3.08 kills per set.
Houston leads the American Athletic Conference with 1.92 service aces per set.
Senior middle blocker Brianna Gardner ranks third in The American in service aces (0.46 per set) and fourth in hitting percentage (.365). Sophomore outside hitter Megan Duncan ranks third in the league in hitting percentage (.371), while sophomore libero Katie Karbo ranks fifth in digs (4.92 per set).
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
The Hatters enter the weekend with a 0-6 record, dropping all six matches of the Stetson Invitational and Hatter Classic.
Outside hitter Eva Deisa leads the team with 2.70 kills per set, while middle blocker Hao Jin averages 1.09 blocks per set.
Setter Naina Ivanova leads the team with 8.65 assists per set and 3.65 digs per set.
The Hatters are in their first season under Head Coach Yang Deng.
Stetson finished 4-25 overall and 2-7 in ASUN play in 2016.
The Last Meeting
August 25, 2017
The Cowgirls enter the weekend with a 3-4 record. McNeese went 2-1 at the UTA Invitational, before dropping all three matches of the South Alabama Jaguar Invitational.
Middle blockers Shanna Spree and Jenny D'Alessandro lead the Cowgirls with 2.43 kills per set and 0.83 blocks per set, respectfully.
Libero Angela McGownd averages 4.88 digs per set.
Setters Adison Giambrone and Alexandra Aquilera average 4.73 and 4.60 sets, respectfully.
The Pokes are in their fourth season under Head Coach Ashleigh Fitzgerald.
McNeese finished 10-22 overall and 6-10 in Southland Conference play in 2016.
The Bulldogs enter the weekend with a 5-3 overall record. MSU went 2-1 at the SMU Doubletree Invitational before splitting four matches at its Bulldog Invitational and defeating Louisiana Tech in a midweek bout on Monday.
Outside hitter Jelena Vujcin leads the team with 3.62 kills per set, while middle blocker Liv Benner averages 0.86 blocks per set.
Libero Gabby Zgunda averages 4.14 digs per set.
Setter Kath Morgan averages 10.45 assists per set.
The Bulldogs are in their third season under Head Coach David McFatrich.
MSU went 14-18 overall and 6-12 in SEC play in 2016.
The Cougars will close out their four-match homestand with a 7 p.m. match against Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
FLO HYMAN (deceased)
A native of Los Angeles, Flo Hyman was the first female scholarship athlete at the University of Houston. Hyman was a three-time AIAW All-America honoree for the Cougars from 1974-76 and the 1976 AIAW National Player of the Year, leading Houston to two Top-5 national finishes. She skipped her final year to join the U.S. National Team in 1975. After failing to qualify for the 1976 Olympics and confronted with the boycott in 1980, Hyman, along with fellow Cougars Rita Crockett and Rose Magers, led the U.S. to a silver medal in 1984 -- still tied for the best indoor finish in U.S. Olympic history.
Standing at 6-5, she was the tallest outside hitter in the women's game, possessing a 110-mph spike. Hyman was consistently counted among the top players in the world before her death during a 1986 match in Japan, where she played professionally.
Hyman was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1988 and was a University of Houston Hall of Honor inductee in 1998. In 2012, Sports Illustrated named her as one of the top 40 female athletes of the Title IX era. She as well as Buck-Crockett and Wade Phillips were 2017 inductees to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
The Houston Athletics Ticket Office is once again proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2017-18 season. For just $80, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Volleyball, Soccer, Women's Basketball and Softball home games.
The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial saving as single-game tickets start at $5 for all four sports. To purchase a Shasta Pass, call 713-GO-COOGS or Click Here.
JOIN POINT HOUSTON CLUB
Fans can help support the Houston Volleyball program by joining the Point HOUSTON Club. To find out more information about the Point HOUSTON Club, visit UHCougars.com or call Cougar Pride at (713) 743-GOUH.