Preview: Volleyball Visits SMU Friday
Oct. 23, 2013
HOUSTON – The University of Houston volleyball team wraps up round one of conference play as they travel to Dallas, Texas, for a match against former C-USA rival SMU Friday at 7 p.m.
The Cougars (13-10, 5-3) and SMU (13-8, 5-3) enter the match tied in the American Athletic Conference standings, mirroring each match outcome against other league members.
SMU has started renovations to the historic Moody Coliseum forcing the volleyball team to host home matches in the Dedman Center, the student recreation center. It is located directly south of Moody Coliseum and admission is free to the match.
LAST TIME OUT
Knights took the lead (23-24) for the eighth time of set two, but Houston responded with a kill by Cortney Warren. The teams went point-for-point until the Cougars took a 30-29 lead. Set two ended on a bad set from the UCF setter, and Houston went up 2-0 heading into intermission. Houston returned to the court with determination in their eyes. The Cougars front line of defense held UCF’s leading outside hitter, Angelica Crump, and middle blocker, DeLaina Sarden, to negative hitting percentages in the final set.
After a solid start, the University of Houston volleyball couldn’t hold on as they dropped to the University of South Florida in four sets (25-21, 22-25, 22-25, 19-25) Sunday afternoon. Houston opened the match with a strong first set, hitting .281 with 12 kills and only three errors. The Bulls responded, winning three straight sets to take the match, 3-1.
COUGAR DEFENSE – STRONGEST IN THE LEAGUE
Houston has the best serve receive percentage in the conference, posting a .955 average, and allowing only 76 aces. Junior libero Natalie Keck leads the Cougar back row defense with 352 digs this season, 1255 career. Last season, Keck recorded only 314 after 23 matches.
SMU is second in The American hitting .235 as a team and has hit .238 in conference matches this season. Three Mustangs are ranked in the top 10, led by junior Caroline Young sitting fifth and hitting .286. Freshman Janelle Giordano follows closely behind hitting .279 for the sixth best average of the conference. Senior Maddie Lozano ranks 10th hitting .238 so far this season.
Sophomore setter Avery Acker won the starting position this season, starting in all but one match this season. She is second in The American and 33rd in the NCAA with 802 total assists averaging 10.99 per set. Acker has recorded a team-high nine double doubles (assists, digs) this season.
HOUSTON vs. SMU - THE SERIES
HOUSTON VOLLEYBALL NOTABLES
SEASON TICKETS ON SALE NOW