Preview: Volleyball Hosts UCF, USF This Weekend
Oct. 17, 2013
HOUSTON – A home court advantage may help the University of Houston volleyball team in their efforts to knock off UCF this weekend as they host two conference matches at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
Another former Conference USA rival, UCF (13-4, 4-1 American) travels to Houston (12-9, 4-2 American) Friday for the annual ‘Coogs For The Cure’ match at 7 p.m.
Houston players will be sporting their pink jerseys during the match. The game-worn jerseys will then be auctioned off in a silent auction beginning at 6 p.m. until the beginning of the third set. The proceeds will benefit the Side Out Foundation, a volleyball specific group raising money and awareness about Breast Cancer.
No. 2 in the American Athletic Conference, UCF was on a three-game win streak entering last weeks match ups against Cincinnati and Louisville. UCF easily swept Cincinnati but suffered its first loss of conference during a four-set match at Louisville.
Houston leads the all time series 8-3 over the Knights. Last season, the two met in the round two of the C-USA tournament when UCF swept the Cougars. Prior to that match, Houston fell in four sets to the Knights during regular season play.
Sunday, the Cougars host South Florida at 1 p.m. USF enters the match 3-2 in conference play, losing two of three road games this season.
Although, USF joins the American as a former member of the Big East, the two programs have met as conference rivals before. Houston leads the all-time series 11-7. Houston swept the Bulls in 2004, USF’s last season as a member of C-USA. The university has since been a part of the Big East.
LAST TIME OUT
On Friday, Temple started the match very strong, outhitting the Cougars 14-7 in kills. The Owls took a 1-0 advantage over Houston with a 25-16 win. Houston woke up with a stronger defense and forced extra points, but the Cougars couldn’t hold on as Temple went up 2-0 going into the half.
The Owls seemed a bit lethargic going into the third set. The Cougars came out strong, with 16 kills on 42 attempts and allowing only six attacking errors and took off with a 25-19 win. Houston couldn’t hold on to the match as Temple dominated the fourth and final set.
The team then jumped on a plane for Memphis, Tenn. As former C-USA rivals, both teams started off strong in the match, battling point-for-point in the first three sets. The Cougars took set one, 25-23, forcing Memphis to give up seven points on errors. Outside hitter Kadi Kullerkann led the Cougars offense, hitting .800 (4-0-5). Memphis tied the match 1-1 just before intermission with a 25-23 win, but Houston responded with a 25-20 advantage to take control of the match, 2-1.
In the fourth set, the Tigers started out with a 7-3 lead and forced Houston to use its first timeout. A 5-0 run with three Sydni Etheredge kills stretched Memphis’ lead to 12-4, forcing another Houston timeout. The Tigers ran away with the set holding Houston to just nine points. This was the first time this season the Cougars scored less than 10 points in a set.
The Tigers showed determination in the fifth set by taking a 5-2 lead and forced Houston to a timeout. The Cougars battled with Memphis tying the score five times before taking the lead with the last two points of the match.
Houston also scheduled a midweek, non-conference match against Prairie View A&M Tuesday evening.
In just the second meeting ever, the Cougars routed PVAMU in four sets. Houston took a 1-0 advantage winning the first set, but the Panthers avenged in the second set with a 25-23 win to tie the match heading into intermission.
The Cougars returned to the court determined to win the third set and match. The team smashed Prairie View A&M by 10 points in the third set and battled point-for-point to pull out the set four win.
Next week, Houston closes out the first round of conference play with a Friday road trip to Dallas, Texas. The Cougars face Texas rival and former C-USA opponent SMU Friday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. The team will have a weeks rest before returning to the court, a much needed break for the Cougars.
Houston opens up the second round of conference play hosting UConn Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. followed by Rutgers Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.
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