|Monday, November 2, 1998||
Volume 64, Issue 50
ahead with weekend sweep
By Andrew J. Ferraro
With the Conference USA Championship tournament just under a month away, the Cougar Volleyball team took a huge step forward this weekend at Hofheinz Pavilion.
After snapping South Florida's eight-match win streak on Friday, the Cougars followed with a heart-pumping, 3-2 marathon victory over Wyoming Sunday evening.
No lead was safe as Houston jumped ahead 2-0 before the Cowgirls rallied for a pair of victories sending the match to a fifth, and deciding, game.
Senior outside hitter Debbie Vokes blasted five kills leading the Cougars
to leads of 7-3 and 12-6 before winning the match on a Michelle Frazier
kill from right to left.
The Cougar volleyball team had a winning weekend, defeating South Florida and Wyoming.
Patrick Sullivan Bernard/Houstonian
Sophomore hitter Jenny Kniss contributed with a career-high 31 kills as the Cougars improved to 14-9 on the season.
"It feels great to get the 31 kills," Kniss said. "That's usually a three or four match total, and I know I've never had that many before."
Along with Kniss, Houston had four players with double-digit kill totals. Vokes followed with 20 and Jillian King and Frazier tallied 13 and 10, respectively.
Despite the big numbers put up by both sides, the match had little flow. One team would get hot and score three or four points, and then the other team followed with a similar script.
Houston built 6-0 leads in games one and three, but Wyoming hung in there and made things interesting each time.
The Cougars blew leads of 11-7 and 10-9 in games two and three, as Jamie Laya and Melody Friehauf lead the Cowgirl attack.
The two finished with 26 and 20 kills, respectively, in the losing effort.
But in game five the Cougars got back to the basics and made Wyoming pay for each and every mistake.
"Even after they tied the match at four, I still never doubted that we were going to win," Vokes said. "Things just started to happen for us in game five, and that made the difference."
Friday night, the Cougars out-hit, out-dug and out-blocked USF to record a 15-8, 15-8, 15-9 win over their divisional rival. It was the Cougars second 3-0 sweep over the Bulls this season after posting a shutout in the first meeting a month ago in Tampa.
Kniss led the Cougars with a match-high 15 kills and a .522 hitting percentage while Vokes and Frazier each added eight kills as Houston improved to 7-5 in C-USA action.
After taking a 2-0 lead going into the 10-minute break between games two and three, Kniss and the rest of the Cougars overheard USF's game plan entering game three.
"Before we went back onto the court, we heard then in their locker room
saying, 'We can't lose to them. Every other frickin' team in the conference
has beaten them,i" Kniss said. "That really fired us up, and there was
no way we were going to let them back into this."
Reach Ferraro at