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Monday, October 4, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 30

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Volleyball can't get enough of its C-USA opponents

By Andrew J. Ferraro
Daily Cougar Staff 

It was a weekend of two matches, two stars and two wins.

After defeating UNC Charlotte in five games (10-15, 15-6, 12-15, 15-10, 15-10) on Friday night, the Cougars needed just four, winning 15-11, 15-10, 12-15, 15-5, to take care of the St. Louis Billikens on Sunday afternoon in front of 176 fans at Hofheinz Pavilion.

On Friday night, junior hitter Michelle Frazier was the star as she posted her second triple double of the season. The junior from Kingwood finished with 16 kills, 18 defensive digs and a season and career-high 17 blocks.


The UH volleyball team swept two more Conference USA opponents, improving its conference record to 5-0, good for first place in C-USA.

Will Cordray/The Daily Cougar

Frazier also hit for a .306 percentage and served a pair of aces in the nearly two-and-a-half -hour long match.

Senior Kristin Guidish added a season and match high 24 kills as the Cougars won their fifth, five-game, rally scored game of the season.

Houston was only six points away from dropping their first C-USA match of the season after losing game three and falling behind 9-4 midway through game four. The Cougars however put together an 11-1 rally to win game four and then used its blocking to help take game five 15-10.

All six UNC Charlotte hitters recorded double-figure kills in the match, led by Emily Bowers' 20. The '49ers fell to 6-9 overall and 1-3 in C-USA.

On Sunday the Cougars were led by junior Bobbie Stewart, who posted 19 kills as Houston won their fifth consecutive match and improved to 10-5 overall and a perfect 5-0 in Conference USA play.

"I think we were all prepared and ready to play today," Stewart of Pasadena's Dobie High School said. "We just came out crushing balls right from the beginning instead of spotting them seven or eight points like we've done before."

Jennifer Wittenberg followed with 17 kills, senior Jillian King posted 13 and Guidish and Frazier supplemented the Cougar attack with 12 kills each. Frazier again led UH on Sunday with a .462 hitting percentage and was just two blocks shy of posting her third double-double of the season.

"Everyone just came out and gave 100 percent effort today," setter Morgan Wallen, who posted 121 assists over the weekend, said. "From the very beginning, we never let up and we just had a lot of fun out there.

"Stewart brought up her game today and it brought our game up to a whole new level. It was fun setting her today."

The Billikens, who entered the match with the best overall record in C-USA, started off a bit flat and found themselves trailing 10-8 before head coach Marilyn Nolen called a timeout. After UH extended their lead to 12-8, SLU responded with two points on kills by Colleen Hunter.

The Cougars thwarted the comeback attempt and won the game on a service ace by Frazier.

Houston went up 11-5 in the second game, before Saint Louis answered with a 4-0 run. Nolen called a timeout and told her players to "settle down and just chip away" at the Cougars, hoping to tie the match at 1-1. Shortly after, the Billikens committed three costly hitting errors and were not able to climb out of the hole.

After taking a sloppily played game three, 15-12, SLU didn't have enough to overcome the Houston blocking game. Frazier had two block assists and added one of the solo variety as the Cougars won on yet another Billikin hitting error.

Perhaps the biggest part of Houston's game on Sunday was that the Cougars were able to shut down SLU's best player at crucial times throughout the match. Laura Risley finished with 13 kills on the afternoon, but many of them came when the game was out of reach for the Billikens.

"Coach (Bill Walton) told us that if we shut down Risley," said Stewart. "then we could take them out of their game and force them to find someone else to go to.

"That's what we did and that's what they had to do."

The Cougars will be in action this Friday night as they host another Conference USA rival: the UAB Blazers. First serve is slated for 7:30 p.m.
 

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