Preview: Houston Volleyball Hosts Memphis, Temple This Weekend
Nov. 14, 2013
HOUSTON - With just five games left for the 2013 season, the University of Houston volleyball team will host the University of Memphis and Temple University for the second matchups of conference play.
Memphis arrives in Houston for a match Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. Although the Tigers are 4-8 The American Athletic Conference, the team tops conference opponents in digs per set (17.35). That is good enough for 13th in the NCAA national rankings. Starting libero Aleksandra Petronijevic has averaged 5.08 digs per set this season leading the conference and is ranked 27th nationally.
The Cougars have a day off before hosting Temple on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. The Owls visit SMU Friday and arrive in Houston with a 17-7 record, 8-4 in conference.
Temple has played through five sets in only three matches this season. The Owls defeated Niagara and New Jersey Institute of Technology, and have only lost in five sets to the University of Pennsylvania. Along with Houston, Temple has a good serve rotation and averages 1.38 aces per set.
The first meeting between the two programs was Sept. 3, 1999 when Houston defeated the Owls in five sets (15-10, 15-12, 7-15, 8-15, 15-12) before rally scoring came into effect. This season, the Cougars fell in four to the Owls back in October.
LAST TIME OUT
The Cougars fell behind the Cardinals 2-0 at the intermission break, but battled in the third set to stay alive as they hit .500 against the host team. Houston won the set 25-13. The Cougars tied the match with a fourth set win, 25-23, but couldn't hang on in the fifth set.
Houston offense had its best showing in set two of the match against Louisville as the Cougars hit .400 with 15 kills and only three errors. As a team, Houston had only 14 hitting errors for the match, tying the fourth lowest of the season. The Cougars hit .257, the best this season against conference opponents.
Middle blockers Courtney Smith and Kaiti Waters had the best hitting percentages on the team against the Bearcats. Smith led with a .500 (3-0-6) and two blocks, Waters had .444 (4-0-9), four blocks and three aces.
For the weekend, Sarita Mikals led the Cougars with 32 kills and 21 digs. She averaged 4.00 kills per set. Mikals recorded her 10th double double of the season with 19 kills and 12 digs, hitting .200 against Louisville. She was one dig away from another double double against Cincinnati.
Kadi Kullerkann knocked 10 kills and four blocks against Louisville, scoring 12 points for the Cougars.
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