Junior Libero Natalie Keck will play in front of friends and family for the first time in two and a half years.
Nov. 7, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston volleyball program heads to Louisville, Ky., Friday for a 6 p.m. match against American Athletic Conference leader University of Louisville.
The Cardinals (16-7, 11-0) are on a six-match win streak, falling at Wichita State in five sets. Houston battled with Louisville during the home match in October, falling 3-0. It was one of the best defensive showings by the Cougars all season.
Freshman standout Maya McClendon has been named the conference Freshman of the Week four times this season. Senior Randi Ewing recorded a conference best .909 against the Cougars with 10 kills on 11 attempts.
Volleyball Falls In Three To Louisville
In a battle to stay undefeated, the University of Houston volleyball team fell in a heartbreaker to the University of Louisville in three sets (19-25, 24-26, 16-25) Sunday afternoon at the Athletics/Alumni Center.
Box Score | Season Stats
Louisville will be limited when using setter Katie George after she injured her shin and required stitches during a prematch warm-up two weeks ago. She and senior Hannah Kvitle will split time on the court, George mostly in the back row.
It has been two and a half years since she played in her hometown, but this weekend junior Libero Natalie Keck will get to play once again in front of friends and family.
LAST TIME OUT
A strong guard at the net led the University of Houston to a 2-0 weekend with a three-set sweep over the University of Connecticut Friday night and a four-set win over Rutgers Sunday afternoon.
Middle blocker Courtney Smith recorded a season high seven block assists. Fellow middle Kaiti Waters followed with five, and three other Cougars had three or more block assists. Houston Volleyball totaled a season high of 12.0 team blocks in a three-set match against UConn.
Destiny Patterson earned her second start at the setter position for Houston. She recorded her second double double of the season against UConn with 22 assists and 11 digs.
Waters recorded the best hitting percentage on the team with nine kills on 17 attempts, hitting .412 at the net, and four blocks against Rutgers.
HOUSTON VOLLEYBALL NOTABLES
- The last time Houston won in a four-set match at home was during the 3-1 win over Rice on Oct. 26, 2012.
- The Cougars recorded 10.0 total blocks, the sixth consecutive match with more than 10 blocks.
- Middle blocker Kaiti Waters was the leading hitter for the Cougars Sunday afternoon. The junior hit .412 (6-2-17) from the net.
- Houston tops the American Athletic Conference in aces per set. The Cougars are now ranked 56th among NCAA Division I schools with 1.44 aces per set.
- Louisville, Ky., ABC affiliate WHAS-TV, will be televising the Louisville v. Houston match Friday night. This is the first televised match for the Cougars since Oct. 26, 2008 when the team traveled to Tulane. The match was shown on CBS College Sports TV.
THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM
For the third time this season, freshman Sarita Mikals has been named The American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Week for another stellar performance this past week.
The 6'-1" outside hitter recorded her ninth double double of the season with 12 kills and 13 digs in the three-set sweep over UConn Friday. Mikals reached double figure kills for the 19th time this season. She followed with a 13-dig performance and nine kills against Rutgers Sunday.
In the seven sets played this weekend, Mikals recorded 21 kills in 74 attempts (.122 hitting percentage) and 26 digs (3.71/set). She leads the Cougars for the season in kills (310) and has scored 356.0 points for the team. Mikals leads all freshmen with 3.26 kills per set this season.
STRONGEST D IN THE LEAGUE
Defense has been the key to success for Houston Volleyball wins in several matches this season. The team is second in the conference for kills allowed by opponents. The Cougars have only allowed 1089 kills (11.23 per set), just behind SMU (11.09 per set).
Houston has the best serve receive percentage in the conference, posting a .953 average, and allowing only 89 aces. Junior libero Natalie Keck leads the Cougar back row defense with 410 digs this season, 1313 career. Last season, Keck recorded only 352 after 26 matches. She sits second in all-time career leaders averaging 4.18 digs per set.
The Cougars top the American in service aces with 140 total, (1.44 per set). The mark ranks 56th in the nation.
Middle blocker Kaiti Waters has been one of Houston's main defenses at the net. She has a total 71.0 blocks (6-65) on the season. The junior ranks second among the American, averaging 1.27 blocks per set.
Houston travels to Cincinnati for the second conference match on the road Sunday at noon. The Cougars continue the second round of conference play with two home matches against Memphis Friday at 7 p.m. and Temple Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.
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