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Volume 71, Issue 11, Tuesday, September 6, 2005

Sports

Weekend full of ups and downs for UH

Cougars go 2-2 during Houston Invitational

By Ronnie Turner
The Daily Cougar

The University of Houston volleyball team (4-3) finished the Houston Invitational 2-2 after victories over Mississippi and Arkansas State followed by losses against Miami and Sacramento State. 

On Sunday night, the Cougars were swept in three games by Sacramento State (27-30, 17-30, 28-30). For the match, Cougars hit a combined .111. 

"It was the worst match we played all weekend," head coach Bill Walton said. "(After) we lost last night, they should have wanted to whoop on these guys to make up for what they did last night, but there certainly didn't seem to be much animosity on our part."

Senior Jennifer Hohl and freshman Kelli Adams recorded 22 and 13 assists, respectively.

"(Our) setters, to put it mildly, were awful," Walton said. "They've got to do a better job of putting the ball in play. 

"If the person who touches the ball every play isn't sharp, then no one else has a chance. Our setters got to be sharp everyday and they were a little bit off tonight."

Junior Becca Sartori had a team-high 13 kills and .286 hitting percentage, while senior Jaci Gonzalez recorded 27 digs. Gonzalez is now only 53 digs away from 2,000 for her career and 125 away from the Conference USA record.

"I think we lacked (energy), but I don't think it was an intentional thing," Sartori said. "We got out there not ready to play, and when we saw how scrappy the other team was, we kind of let down instead of picking up and playing harder."

On Saturday, the Cougars swept Arkansas State in three games (30-21, 30-27, 30-22). Three Cougars registered double-digit kills, led by senior Kariny Ritter with 12 kills, and backed up by freshman Justine Farmer and Sartori who smacked home 11 apiece. Hohl stimulated the UH offense with 32 assists and eight digs, while Gonzalez recorded 23 digs.

During the second match of the day against Miami, the Cougars dropped the match in five games (32-30, 25-30, 27-30, 30-17, 5-15). In the deciding game, UH claimed the first point, but 13 of the next 15 points were registered by the Hurricanes who were helped by seven Cougar attack errors. 

"We just quit executing in the fifth game," Walton said in a press release. "A lot of fifth games are like that. Miami got out to a big lead early, and we tried to comeback too hard too fast. It ended up working against us. You can't get it back in one swing." 

Hohl paced the UH offense with 54 of the team's 61 assists. Ritter garnered a team-high 23 kills, while Farmer and Sartori contributed 16 kills apiece. Sartori had a .353 hitting percentage and added a career-high of seven blocks, while Farmer recorded 19 digs for her third double-double of the season. 

The Cougars did manage to take care of Ole Miss in four games (30-23, 30-18, 30-32, 30-23) on Friday night. Farmer and Ritter combined for 43 kills against Ole Miss, and Hohl had 34 assists. 

UH will go on a road trip for the first time this season when they travel to Manhattan, Kan., to compete in the Kansas State Invitational, starting with No. 6 ranked Minnesota on Friday evening. The Cougars will finish up the tournament with action against Kansas State and Florida on Saturday.
 

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