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Wednesday, October 13, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 37

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Cougars on a roll as they prepare for UAB, Memphis

UH/C-USA Volleyball Notebook

By Andrew J. Ferraro

The UH Volleyball team is hot. It is winning, and it is winning big. The Cougars are currently on a nine-match winning streak and are showing no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future.

The Cougars look to continue that fiery play this weekend against lowly University of Alabama-Birmingham and Memphis. They plan to steamroll them and move on to a pair of opponents, the Marquette Golden Eagles and the DePaul Blue Demons, that have been known to surprise people.

Will Cordray/The Daily Cougar


Jennifer Wittenburg (middle) gets ready to send the ball to the opposing side in a game last week. The Cougars will face UAB and Memphis this weekend.

For example, just last year, Marquette defeated the Cougars at Hofheinz Pavilion. Ask any Cougar player and she will tell you that that one loss sticks out in the team's minds. It stung and it came back to haunt them.

But alas, this is a new season and the lineup is much different than a year ago. There is no doubt that when the Cougars travel to Milwaukee this weekend to take on the Golden Eagles, things are going to happen quickly. Spikes are going to fly and blocks are going straight to the floor.

Although the winning may look easy against the teams at the bottom of the standings, the Cougars say that the wins do nothing but improve their confidence and help them play better as a team.

"Memphis and UAB have not been strong teams, historically," junior hitter Michelle Frazier said. "But more wins against teams like that gives us more confidence going into games against Louisville and Cincinnati later on in the season."

Michelle Frazier

Nov. 12 and 14 are fast-approaching, and that trip to Cincinnati and Louisville is going to decide who's who in Conference USA. Just ask the players.

"We know that's going to be a big weekend, and it's our last weekend before the (C-USA) tournament," senior hitter Kristin Guidish said. "Right now we need to just take it one game at a time, but we do talk about future games and we know we are going to step it up a little bit more that weekend.

"It is important to try to go into that weekend undefeated in C-USA play," Guidish added. "We want to stay undefeated, and we want to go in there and let them know that we are going to be big-time competition."

C-USA Player of the Week

DePaul sophomore setter Kara Jakusz is the C-USA Player of the Week for Oct. 11. She tallied her first career triple-double against Saint Louis, posting 11 kills, 66 assists and 18 digs in a 3-2 triumph over the Billikens.

This is the first Blue Demon triple-double since 1993. She added 68 assists, 22 digs and seven kills in a 3-1 win over UNC Charlotte. For the week, the Lemont, Ill., native hit .405 with 18 kills, 134 assists and 40 digs.

Coming attractions

The following is a brief look at what is happening with the Cougars' next two C-USA opponents.

On Friday and Sunday, the Cougars will travel to Milwaukee to face host Marquette before completing the week with a home match against DePaul. 

Friday's match will begin at 7:30 p.m., and first serve on Sunday is slated for 2 p.m.

Marquette Golden Eagles (10-8, 3-4 C-USA) -- Saint Louis handed Marquette its fourth straight loss with a 3-1 setback Saturday night in Milwaukee. UNC Charlotte defeated the Golden Eagles 3-2 on Friday night. Vesna Grbavac had 23 kills and 18 digs against the 49ers and 22 kills and 16 digs against the Billikens.

DePaul Blue Demons (10-9, 4-3 C-USA) -- Kara Jakusz and Stephanie Bishop led the Blue Demons past Saint Louis 3-2 on Oct. 8 and UNC Charlotte 3-1 on Oct. 10.

Jakusz, the C-USA Player of the Week, posted her first career triple double with 11 kills, 66 assists and 18 digs against Saint Louis and added 22 digs and seven kills against the 49ers.

Bishop had 25 kills and 27 digs against Saint Louis and 28 kills and 30 digs against UNC Charlotte. At 10-9 overall and 4-3 in the league, the Blue Demons are one win away from matching their respective league and overall totals from a year ago.
 

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