Sept. 27, 2012
HOUSTON — University of Houston Volleyball will begin a four-game homestand when it continues Conference USA play, hosting Tulsa and SMU this weekend in the Athletics/Alumni Center. The Cougars are slated to play host to the Golden Hurricane on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. Sunday match against the Mustangs.
Houston is coming off an exciting 3-1 conference victory last Sunday at Memphis. The Cougars improved to 2-11 on the year and 1-2 in C-USA play. Senior trio of Katie Norris, Chandace Tryon, and Stephanie Nwachukwu all posted impressive attacking numbers to accompany a solid defensive effort along the net to help head coach Kaddie Platt to her 501st career victory.
Houston returns to action having snapped a six-game skid that dated back to Sept. 7. With non-conference play wrapped up, the Cougars will focus on 13 conference games and four straight at home. As a team, Houston is hitting .159 with 548 kills. Seniors Katie Norris and Chandace Tryon lead the team with 178 and 133, respectively. Senior setter Abby Simmons has totaled 385 assists and a team-best nine service aces along with teammates Natalie Keck and Olivia O’Dell. Defensively, Keck paces the team with 155 digs, while Norris follows with 121. Tryon totals 11 block solos and 33 block assists for the Cougars.
Tulsa enters Friday’s contest with a 3-0-conference record and a 10-7 mark overall to sit in first-place with Rice in league standings. The Golden Hurricane is coming off three straight wins and holds a 10-7 record and a 2-3 away record. Six of Tulsa’s 10 wins have been in 3-0 sweeps. The Golden Hurricane has faced three ranked teams this year and was swept by all three prior to opening Conference USA play. As a team, Tulsa is hitting .201 with 885 kills, led by reigning C-USA Player of the Year Tyler Henderson with 298 kills. Defensively, the Golden Hurricane have 150 block assists with Ashley Hooper leading the way with 33. Jessica Adams has 308 digs.
Houston and Tulsa will meet for the 14th time as the Golden Hurricane owns the all-time series at 8-5 over the Cougars after taking both contests a year ago.
SMU will meet Rice on Friday before playing Houston on Sunday. The Mustangs begin the weekend with a 4-11 overall record and 1-2 mark in conference play, sitting middle of the league standings. SMU is coming off a 3-2 loss to Marshall and has won two of its last four. The Mustangs, as a team, are hitting .181 with 683 kills, led by Caroline Young’s 180. Defensively, Maddie Lozano has 51 block assists, while Susan Lewis leads the team with 179 digs.
Houston and SMU will meet for the 20th time in history as the Cougars lead the series, 10-9. The two teams met twice in 2011 as SMU earned a win in both contests.
Tulsa and Rice sit atop Conference USA standings, followed by Marshall (2-1), UTEP (2-1), UAB (1-1), Southern Miss (1-1), UCF (1-1), Houston (1-2), SMU (1-2), Tulane (1-2), Memphis (0-2) and East Carolina (0-3).
Both games this weekend can be followed online via GameTracker at UHCougars.com or via live video on All-Access for a small fee.
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Following the weekend matches, Houston will prepare to host Tulane at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 and UTEP at 1 pm. Sunday, Oct. 7 in Conference USA action.