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Volume 72, Issue 34, Friday, October 6, 2006

Sports

Home streak on line for UH

UH will look to continue home success v. C-USA this weekend

by RONNIE TURNER
The Daily Cougar

The lesson learned by Houston after its 3-2 loss to Rice on Wednesday night was simple: no lead is ever safe.

The Cougars jumped out to early leads in each game, but were never able to completely shut the Owls down, especially in the third game, which proved to be the turning point. As a result of its breakdowns, Houston was forced to trudge back to its locker room in anger while Rice celebrated a 3-2 victory on its home court.

Now, Houston (12-8, 3-2 Conference USA) will turn its attention to its next set of opponents and looks to take out the frustrations of its recent loss on them. 



Sophomore setter Krystal Schulle has 428 assists so far this season and is averaging 7.25 assists per game.

STEPHEN PINCHBACK/The Daily Cougar

This could spell trouble for Southern Miss, who will meet the Cougars in a C-USA match at 7 p.m. tonight at the Athletic/Alumni Center. Houston will round out the weekend slate by hosting the Central Florida in a Sunday afternoon match at 1 p.m. 

Sunday's match will mark the ninth time in the last 11 matches that the Cougars have played at home. The home-court advantage has been a blessing for Houston, which is a perfect 7-0 at home this season. 

"(Playing at home) is the best thing, because right now we're not very good on the road," said head coach Bill Walton, whose team is 5-8 away from home. "We need to get two victories under our belt this weekend, and then get fired up about being on the road. Maybe we need to be a little more fired up with the idea that the next two teams we play on the roads need to pay for our early indiscretions." 

Southern Miss (9-9, 2-2 C-USA) rides the momentum of a two-match winning streak into tonight's match. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 3-2 victory (30-26, 27-30, 23-30, 30-28, 15-8) over UCF. Sophomore outside hitter Ashley Petrinec and junior middle blocker Morgan Johnson came up big in that match, each attributing a team-leading 14 kills.

With the loss to Southern Miss, UCF (5-10, 1-3 C-USA) was pushed further into the basement of the conference standings. The Golden Knights are currently on a three-match losing streak and stand in ninth place. 

The team has struggled on defense, allowing opponents to hit .220.

Houston knows it let a victory slip away against Rice, but realizes that there's still more volleyball to played, starting with this weekend.

"We have to have a short memory after (the Rice loss)," sophomore outside hitter Justine Farmer said in a release. "Coach Walton reminded us that it was one of 16 conference games. Our plan is to practice hard to get ready for our weekend matches back at home." 

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