Nov. 23, 2011
HOUSTON - Four University of Houston volleyball players earned All-Conference awards the league office announced on Wednesday. The four honorees are the most for a Cougar squad since 2005.
Senior middle blocker Lucy Charuk earned First Team All-C-USA honors, while juniors Katie Norris and Chandace Tryon are Second Team selections. Freshman setter Caitlin Ogletree also took home postseason honors with her selection to the All-Freshman Team.
"I hope these awards help the team recognize what an incredibly successful year this has been," head coach Molly Alvey said. "Dropping matches at the end of the season or not reaching the exact expectations you have for yourself, as far as wins and losses, can cloud perspective on all the great accomplishments we have made. This season has been the best this program has performed in a long time. Jumping into the top 30, beating a top 25 team and competing on a national level is pretty impressive. I hope these accolades are a very clear recognition of what an unbelievable season this was for UH volleyball."
Charuk, a three-time First Team selection, leads the Cougars with 365 kills and a .390 hitting percentage. She also has a team-high 159 blocks, averaging 1.38 per set. The Tswwassen, British Columbia, native ranks 15th in the NCAA in hitting percentage and 17th in blocks per set. She will leave Houston as the school career leader in hitting percentage second in blocks and block assists, sixth in solo blocks and eighth blocks per set.
Charuk recorded double-digit kills in 22 matches this season and had at least five blocks in 19 matches.
Norris earns her first C-USA postseason award after transferring to Houston from Ole Miss. The Humble, Texas, native is tied for first with 29 service aces, is second on the team in kills (337) and fourth in digs (153). She also has 65 blocks. Norris recorded her first career double-double against UTEP on Oct. 14 with 14 kills and 11 digs. She also had a career-high 25 kills against Marshall on Nov. 5. She recorded double-digit kills in 17 matches this season.
Norris took home C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 26 and was named to the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup All-Tournament Team.
Tryon was named to the Second Team after also earning a spot on the Preseason All-Conference squad. She is fourth on the team in kills (253) and her .312 hitting percentage is the second best on the team. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native ranks eighth in C-USA in hitting percentage and had at least five blocks in eight matches this season.
Tryon tied a career-high with 15 kills against SMU and was named to the University of Kentucky Invitational All-Tournament Team.
With Ogletree's selection to the All-Freshman team, Houston has had a member of its squad on the team in four of the last five seasons. The Montgomery, Texas, native leads the team with 1,154 assists and 29 service aces. She also has 226 digs and 39 blocks. Ogletree ranks fifth in C-USA in assists and seventh in service aces.
Ogletree is a four-time C-USA Setter of the Week and was named to the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup All-Tournament Team.
"Having Caitlin, Katie and Chandace return next year will be extremely valuable for the program," Alvey said. "This season is as perfect as you can get in regards to experience for these three players. We felt the success of winning big, the pressure of keeping a winning record and the challenge of pushing through when the outcome is not as you expected it to be.
"Those are all experiences that make players better if they chose to continue to make winning habits out of them. I know these three players, along with the others on this team will do just that. Having these three back will be a big contributing factor to another successful season next year."
The Cougars are 18-11 this season and 11-8 in league play. UH peaked at No. 38 this season in the RPI rankings, the highest ranking in the program's history since also reaching a No. 38 ranking in 1999.
Earlier this week, junior middle blocker Stephanie Nwachukwu was named to the C-USA All-Academic volleyball team. The Houston, native was named to the team for the first time in her career after maintaining a 3.89 GPA in biochemistry.
Houston closes out the regular season at 7 p.m. at the Athletics/Alumni Center against cross-town rival Rice. The Cougars defeated the Owls 3-0 earlier this season at Tudor Fieldhouse.