Preview: Cougars Look to Build on Sweep by Hosting Tulane, UTEP

Oct. 4, 2012

  Houston vs. Tulane - UTEP | Houston, Texas - Athletics/Alumni Center | 7:00 p.m. - 1 p.m.
vs. Tulane  GameTracker | Live Video
vs. UTEP  GameTracker | Live Video
Information  Houston Game Notes | Conference USA Notebook | Twitter (@UHCougarVB)

HOUSTON -- Looking to build on its 3-0 sweep over SMU last Sunday, the University of Houston volleyball team will wrap up its four-game homestand this weekend when hosting Tulane at 7 p.m. Friday and UTEP at 1 p.m. Sunday in Conference USA action.

The Cougars are coming off their first home win of the season and an impressive one at that with a sweep over C-USA rival, SMU. In that win, Houston posted a season-best .322 team attacking percentage to accompany 22 block assists.

Houston finished the weekend with a 1-1 record, dropping a 3-2 heartbreaker to Tulsa at home Friday night.

Houston enters the weekend with a 3-12 overall record and a 2-3 mark in Conference USA. The Cougars snapped its five-game losing skid at home with its first home win over SMU last Sunday to sit at 1-5 on the year in the Athletics/Alumni Center. Houston is led offensively by senior Katie Norris, who posted her seventh double-double of the year and fourth straight in the win over the Mustangs. She leads the team with 205 kills on 697 attempts. Senior Chandace Tryon follows with 156 kills and a team-leading .322 attacking percentage. Senior setter Abby Simmons paces the offense with 466 assists, while defensively; Houston has four players with at least 100 digs. Leading the way is sophomore libero Natalie Keck with 188 digs, followed by Norris with 150. Tryon owns 43 block assists and 12 block solos for the team lead.

Tulane enters Friday's contest with a 4-12 overall record and a 2-3 mark in Conference USA. The Green Wave is coming off a 3-2 win over UAB at home and will look to earn its first road win of the year as the team sits at 0-3 away from New Orleans. Tulane is led Cori Martone's 256 kills and setter Mel Mandelbaum's 533 assists. Defensively, the Green Wave is led by Martone's 203 digs and Olivia Utt's 68 total blocks.

Houston and Tulane will meet for the 36th time in school history. The Cougars own a 26-9 overall series record over the Green Wave and have won the last three meetings between the two teams.

UTEP will meet Rice on Friday evening prior to playing Houston on Sunday afternoon. The Minors are tied for second in Conference USA play with a 4-1 record and a 10-7 overall record after winning the last six contests. The Minors are led offensively by Jeane Horton's 271 kills and Malia Patterson's 674 assists. Defensively, Victoria Valencia totals 227 digs.

Houston and UTEP will meet for the 17th time with the Cougars own the series, 11-5. Houston dropped its last meeting with UTEP, 3-2 in El Paso, but split the 2011 series, winning 3-1 at home.

Both weekend contests will be available via GameTracker (free) and All-Access (small fee).

Follow Houston Volleyball on Twitter @UHCougarVB and "Like" /HoustonCougarVolleyball on Facebook.

Following the weekend matches, Houston will travel to East Carolina on Friday Oct. 12 for a 6 p.m. match against the Pirates, before returning home to host Marshall on Sunday, Oct. 14 at 1 p.m.    



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