Oct. 3, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston volleyball team hosts its first home conference meetings against the University of Cincinnati and the University of Louisville this weekend at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
On Friday, the Cougars take on Cincinnati at 7 p.m. for the white out match. Fans are asked to wear white to the match.
Former Cougars head coach Molly Alvey and the rest of the Bearcat coaching staff return to Houston. She is in her second season at the head of Bearcats volleyball. Last season, Alvey led her team to a 9-6 finish in the Big East before moving to The American.
Cincinnati (0-15, 0-2) has not won a match yet this season, but will be eager to defeat the Cougars on their own court. Houston trails the all time series with the Bearcats 5-7.
Louisville arrives in Houston for a Sunday afternoon match at the Athletics/Alumni Center. The Cardinals are also undefeated in conference play, cruising past Memphis and Temple in four sets each.
During preseason, Louisville was ranked No. 19 in the AVCA Division I Coaches' Poll. They moved up to No. 17 after picking up a win against Syracuse and falling to No. 2 Penn State. After that week, the Cardinals dropped from the rankings after a five-match skid including heartbreaking loses to No. 19 Kentucky and No. 4 Minnesota.
The Cardinals hold a 14-4 series over Houston, sweeping the Cougars in the 2004 meeting.
LAST TIME OUT
Houston began the inaugural American Athletic Conference season with a trip to the northeast. The team traveled by plane more than 1,500 miles to Newark, N. J., for the first match against Rutgers. In the second meeting in school history, the Cougars swept the Scarlet Knights (25-21, 26-24, 25-15).
Middle blocker Emily Howard was unstoppable at the net as she led the team with 12 kills on 17 attempts with one error. The Sophomore recorded a season best .647 hitting percentage, the highest on the team. Howard also had one solo and one assisted block against Rutgers, while adding 13.5 points to Houston's win.
After the match, the Cougars loaded onto a charter bus and drove to Hartford, Conn., for the second opponent of the season, UConn. With a day of rest in between, Houston took on the Huskies Sunday afternoon in the basketball arena, Harry P. Gampel Pavilion.
The Cougars had a 2-0 advantage going into the 10-minute break, but UConn came out strong defensively taking set three. In the fourth set, UConn started with a 20-10 lead causing Houston to use both timeouts quickly. The Cougars turned the game around on a 13-3 run to tie the score at 23. Two errors by Destiny Patterson and Emily Howard quickly ended the set 25-23 in UConn's favor. Both teams went point-for-point in the decisive fifth set, showing how much they wanted the win. Houston powered past the Huskies 15-12 to stay undefeated in conference play.
Outside hitter Kadi Kullerkann led the Cougar offense over UConn with a hitting percentage of .344 (13-6-37). She was Houston's most efficient hitter against conference opponents this weekend with 24 kills on 50 attempts and committing four errors, a .400 hitting percentage. Against conference rivals, Kullerkann ranks fifth in hitting percentage.
Kullerkann was named to the American Athletic Conference Player of the Week Honor Roll for Week five of the season. This was the Cougars first honor since Sept. 9 (week two) when Sarita Mikals was named Freshman of the Week and Sophie Paine was listed to the Player of the Week Honor Roll.
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