Oct. 3, 2013
UC vs. Houston | Oct. 4 | 8 p.m.
Houston, Texas | Athletics/Alumni Center
UC vs. SMU | Oct. 6 | 2 p.m.
Dallas, Texas | Moody Coliseum
CINCINNATI - Head Coach Molly Alvey and the University of Cincinnati volleyball team will head to Texas for a two-match conference road swing against Houston and SMU. The Bearcats will face the Cougars at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 4 and will play the Mustangs in Dallas, Texas at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 6.
The trip to Texas will be a homecoming of sorts for many members of the team, including four players who reside in the Lone Star State. Junior Caitlin Ogletree (Montgomery, Texas/Montgomery/Houston), sophomore Morgan Allred (Carrolton, Texas/Hebron), freshman Mallory Blauser (Round Rock, Texas/Round Rock Christian Academy) and freshman Shelby Green (Dripping Springs, Texas/Dripping Springs) will all be returning to their home state for the matches.
The first match against Houston will also provide head coach Molly Alvey and assistant coaches Nicole Miller and Steve Vencl with the opportunity to return to UH where they coached prior to taking the reins at Cincinnati. Alvey served as the head coach of the Cougars for two seasons (2010 and 2011), her first stint as a head coach. Miller coached alongside Alvey for both seasons at UH while Vencl joined the duo in 2011.
FIVE THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Breanna Barksdale (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake) had a career day against Memphis on Sept. 29. The freshman had a career-best 15 digs and a career-high 10 blocks for his first -career double-double while also adding a career-high five digs and hitting at a .448 clip.
- Four Bearcats are currently ranked among the American top-10 in several categories for conference-only matches. Barksdale leads the charge in two categories, ranking second with 1.78 blocks/set and seventh with a .382 hitting percentage. Freshman Ciara Hill (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) ranks sixth with 3.44 kills/set, freshman Kristin Conor (Lone Tree, Colo./Highlands Ranch) ranks seventh with 9.89 assists/set and junior Me'Ashah Nicholson (Shiloh, Ill./Belleville Althoff) ranks eighth with .33 service aces/set.
- In conference play, the Bearcats rank sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.193), blocks (2.78/set), service aces (.89/set) and digs (15.11/set).
- The Bearcats have a 7-5 all-time record against the Cougars with the last meeting coming in 2004 when UC won 3-1 against its then-Conference USA foe. Cincinnati and SMU have never played before in program history.
- Houston was picked to finish eighth in the preseason American Athletic Conference poll, but currently sits in second place with a 9-7 overall record and a perfect 2-0 mark in conference play. SMU, which was picked sixth prior to the season, sits atop the standings with a 10-5 overall record and a 2-0 record in the American.