New netters add
to strong team
1 he University of Houston Volleyball team Amie Roberts, a transfer from Ricks Junior
chalked up its fifth consecutive 20-win sea- College in California, to be his starting set-
son in 1991, boosting head coach Bill
Walton's UH record to 127-74 (.632) and
earning the team the elusive ticket to "The
The invitation to the NCAA was
ter. Roberts was named best junior college
setter in the nation in 1990, leading her
team to a 54-8 record and a second place
finish nationally. Roberts also earned First
Team all region 18 honors and was named
only the second in UH history for the vol- Regional MVR Due to a lengthy summer
leyball team. The UH netters were passed session at Ricks, Roberts was unable to
over by the NCAA last year after a second make the team's first practice on Aug. 10th.
place finish in the Southwest Conference With the University of Texas at Ar-
and 24 wins. They had to settle for the lington tournament scheduled for Aug. 30
National Invitational ■
Volleyball Championship tournament
where they thrashed
their competitors in
an undefeated six
matches to win the
year, with five new
team members and a"
photo by Thomas Nguyen
& 31 st and Roberts not
scheduled to arrive
until Aug. 28th, Walton decided to take a
chance with freshman
Heidi Sticksel from
Tascosa High School
in Amarillo. Sticksel,
who had no experience as a setter,
third place finish in the SWC, the Coogs stunned everyone with a 3-0 victory over
were finally taken seriously by the NCAA UTA, who played an experienced senior
and received an invitation to "the Dance", setter. Sticksel continued as the starting
Unfortunately, the first name on setter through the first half of the season
UH's dance card was Louisiana State, and lead the team to a 9-2 record in Septem-
ranked fifth nationally with a 32-1 season ber.
record. Eighth seeded UH traveled to Ba- But the nationally ranked JC trans-
ton Rouge on Dec. 5 to battle the first seeded fer was not forgotten. Roberts became the
Tigers before a crowd of 1,000. Despite the starting setter for the second half of the
Cougars' explosive attack, the Tigers could season, driving the Coogs to a proud 20-11
not be defeated in their own ballroom. LSU finish.
wonitinthree(5-15,5-15,14-16)andwaltzed The 20-win season is especially im-
all the way to the Final Four. pressive considering their rigorous sched-
With only one half of the 1990 team ule. UH played eight teams this year, that
returning, 1991 looked uncertain for Hous- made it to the NCAA, six of which were in
ton Volleyball. Coach Bill Walton, who had the final eight. Nine of UH's 11 losses were
lead a team to post-season play seven times to teams ranked in the NCAA top 20 when
in his 11 year career, had his hands full, UH played them. With such a young team
training two new setters and having eight able to hold their own against the likes of
of 11 players with less than one year of UT, Nebraska, Stanford and LSU, the Cou-
experience. gar netters will undoubtedly be a force to
Walton had high hopes for junior contend with next season.-Melissa Lang
(Story continued, page 120)
ands interweave in competition, not in friendship as Senior Ginger Wittkofski tangles with her
opponent. Photo by Gilbert Sifuentes.
enior Karen Bell shows her power and prowess
in her last season as a Cougar. Bell has the record for
most aces and has been SWC Player of the Week.
Photo by Thomas Nguyen.
photo courtesy Spoils Information
1991 Volleyball Team
Xleidi Sticksel and Ashley Mulkey go up to make Janelle Harmonson, a junior from Long Beach,
the play. Mulkey has recorded double kills and California, returned from injuries last year to make
double digs on several occasions in her UH career. great plavs like this one. Photo by Thomas Nguyen.
Photo by Thomas Nguyen.