Monday, August 29, 2011

Bottles, Hilbun Named Southland Volleyball Players of the Week

Bottles led the Ladyjacks to its best start since 1992; Hilbun earns all-tournament honors

FRISCO, TEXAS (August 29, 2011) Stephen F. Austin senior MC Bottles and Texas State sophomore Ashlee Hilbun were named the Southland Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, to begin the 2011 season, the league announced Monday.

Offensive Player of the Week – MC Bottles, Stephen F. Austin

Bottles was key in leading the Ladyjacks to a perfect 4-0 mark over the weekend at the Georgia Southern Spring Hill Suites Invitational, guiding Stephen F. Austin to its first 4-0 start since 1992. The Rowlett, Texas, native hit better than .440 in the final three matches of the tournament and averaged 4.09 kills per set in those wins. The SFA middle blocker finished the weekend hitting a .336 clip and averaging 3.19 kills per set. Bottles hit .577 and notched 16 kills and three blocks in a four-set win over Jacksonville before backing that up with a 14-kill performance in a sweep of South Dakota State. In the final match of the tournament against Montana State, the senior hit .323 with 15 kills in the four-set victory.

Honorable Mention: Jessica Hays, Central Arkansas; Carli Kolbe, Sam Houston State; Logan Bourque, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi

Defensive Player of the Week – Ashlee Hilbun, Texas State

Hilbun made a huge impact for the Bobcats defensively at the net and in the back row while earning a spot on the all-tournament team at the Bama Bash in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The sophomore middle blocker totaled 23 blocks in three tournament matches for an average of 1.77 blocks per set and also contributed with 27 digs for an average of 2.08 digs per set. The Austin, Texas, native flirted with triple-doubles in each of the first two matches for Texas State, finishing with 13 digs, nine blocks and nine kills in the season-opener against Alabama State before posting nine kills, nine digs and eight blocks against Austin Peay.

Honorable Mention: Keelie Arneson, Northwestern State; Kim Black, Sam Houston State; Madison Hanlan, Stephen F. Austin

Each school’s sports information director nominates and votes for the players of the week, though is not permitted to vote for his or her own player. To receive honorable mention, a player must receive votes from 25 percent of the Southland sports information directors.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heat Provisions Announced for Houston Football Season Opener

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 28, 2011) In an effort to help fans enjoy gameday to the fullest, the University of Houston Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has taken numerous steps to beat the heat at the Sept. 3 contest vs. UCLA.

"It is extremely important to this athletic department to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our fans," UH Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades. "We want anyone who visits Robertson Stadium to feel appreciated for spending their day with the Cougars."

What UH will Provide
• For the UCLA game only, fans will have the ability to bring in an unopened, clear plastic bottle of water, one per person.

• The UH Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will be handing out "Buy One, Get One Free" coupons for cold water upon ticketed entry to Robertson Stadium.

• UH Dining Services will have three times the amount of water product normally sold as well as dedicated water stations to service patrons.

• Water misting cooling zones will be stationed in the four corners of the Stadium underneath the concourses inside Gates 1, 7, 8, 14.

• UH Dining Services will sell cups of ice for $1 from beverage-only concession stations.

• UH Dining Services will provide complimentary water at the student entrance, while supplies last.

• A guest assist text service is available for fans who feel faint or ill in their seats. Personnel will assist in getting fans to the treatment areas. Text "UH" and message to 78247.

Tips to Beat the Heat
1. Stay Hydrated with water and sports drinks.
2. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine
3. Dress in light-weight, loose-fitting clothing
4. Eat small meals of carbohydrates, salads and fruit, and eat more often
5. Utilize cold or ice towels
6. Apply a liberal amount of sunscreen
7. Notify emergency personnel at the first sign of heat-induced symptoms.

* UH will have on-site medical personnel to assist with any heat-related cases.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Houston Texans Win over the San Francisco 49ers Means What?

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved.)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2011 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 27, 2011) The Houston Texans will travel to the west coast on Saturday to take on the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in the third preseason game of the 2011 season for both teams.

Game time is set for 8:00 p.m. ET (5:00pm PT).

Houston is coming off a 27-14 win over the New Orleans Saints this past Saturday evening at Reliant Stadium

The Texans and 2-0 in preseason while the 49ers are 1-1. .

This will be the last game before both teams must cut their roster to 75 players on Aug. 30.

Let's see what a win over the 49ers would mean for the Texans.

  1. A Texans win would improve the team’s preseason record to 3-0, matching the most-ever wins by the Texans in the preseason (2006, 3-1).
  2. A Texans win would possibly give the Texans two sacks to tie the franchise preseason record of 13.0, set in the club’s inaugural season of 2002. Houston is tied with Buffalo for the NFL lead this preseason with 11.0 sacks in two games.
  3. A Texans win would give Houston its first win at Candlestick Park. The Texans have only visited Candlestick Park once, losing 20-17 in overtime against the 49ers on Jan. 1, 2006, closing out the 2005 season. Saturday will mark the first preseason meeting between the two teams.
The last time the Texans played the 49ers was Oct. 25, 2009 at Reliant Stadium.

It was game seven of the 2009 season and Houston came a way with a 24-21 win over San Francisco in front of 70,820 fans.

Let's see if the Texans can make it 3-0 in preseason games.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Was the Houston Texans' Defense the Key in Their 27-14 over the New Orleans Saints?

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved.)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2011 TexSport Publications

HOUSTON, TEXAS (August 20, 2011) Was the defense in the key in the Houston Texans' 27-14 drumming of the New Orleans Saints, taking their 2011 preseason record to 2-0 or did the offense just put more points on the scoreboard than the Saints?

Much has been written about Wade Phillips and 3-4 defense he has installed as defensive coordinator of the Texans.

In the post game interview, head coach Gary Kubiak was quoted on the Texans' defense:

I know they gave up a lot of yards but they made some big plays. The first drive of the game they (New Orleans Saints) go right down the field on them. You can get the ball moved on you defensively but if you step up and make a big play that's what it's all about and that's what they did. Antonio (Smith) made that big play early in the game that kind of flipped their emotions of the the game and got everybody going but I know we gave up too many yards and we got a lot of things to fix so we've got a long way to go.

That about says it all.

The defense was not a clean and concise as everyone would like to see, but remember this is just preseason.

When New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was sacked by Smith, ending the Saints drive, that was one of the big plays Kubiak was talking about.

That sack was the Texans' eighth of the season, which matched the team's total from the 2010 preseason.

Mario Williams, who was playing in his new outside linebacker position, recovered the fumble.

These are the things that can turn around a team and take them onward throughout the season.

Xavier Adibi had the unassisted and three assisted tackles from the inside linebacker position, while cornerback Brice McCain had four unassisted tackles.

In fact, 21 defensive players contributed to the Texans' 43 tackles with nine players assisting on tackles.

The Texans' also had four sack, with outside linebacker Brooks Reed accounting for two of them.

It was obvious from the press box, at least to me, that the defense line needed to buckle down and do a better job of shutting down the run.

The Saints rushed for 113 yards and although that was less that the Texans (208 yards), they were not getting the job done on the run.

The same could be said about the secondary, as the Saints threw for 218 yards which was pretty even to the Texans (228 yards).

However I think defensive, the Texans need to build their confidence and continue to embrace the defense scheme that Phillips whats to develop.

I also believe the Texans concentrated too much on defending against the pass, knowing Brees was going to go to the air.

As a result, the Saints were able to gain yardage on some big runs.

As I see it, the Texans' need to play better against the run and let the passes happen. If they can become a team that shuts down the run, then their opponents will be forced to go to the air.

I saw good things out of outside linebacker Brooks Reed against the Saints. He had two solo and one assisted tackle and seemed to be learning the defense better.

Coming out of college, he was used to playing a 4-3 defense and now he has to make a complete switch to the 3-4.

I think he will continue to mature and will make a good addition to the Texans.

Defense end J.J. Watt also stepped up and played better this week than he did against the New York Jets.

He had a single tackle, but did seem to get into the game a bit better.

In addition, he needs to stay at the line a bit more and work against the block. He is improving, and with three more weeks until the regular seasons starts, he will get better and better.

I think this win over the Saints was a needed victory, but the true test will come when the regular season starts.

When the Texans take to the field on Sept. 11 against the Indianapolis Colts, things will be different.

Their two (and possibly two more) preseason wins will just be a memory.

Overall, the Texans' defense is coming along, but they still have a long way to go.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

FC Barcelona Downs Club America 2-0 in WFC

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved)

By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2011 TexSport Publications

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (August 6, 2011) In a soccer match, it is necessary to control the ball to win, and that is exactly what FC Barcelona did in the final match of the 2011 World Football Challenge.

FCB stunned Club America, winning the match 2-0 on goals by David Villa and Seydou Keita in front of 60,807 fans at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Barcelona controlled the ball more than 70% of the game, and it appeared that “Ɓguilas” never got into the match.

Villa put Barcelona on the scoreboard in the 24th minute on a nice shot from the front of the goal. He received the ball from Adriano Correia to get his first goal of the tournament.

Barcelona picked up their second goal of the match in the 90th minute when Keita receive a short pass from Gerard Deulofeo inside the box and slid it in for the score.

The match was virtually all Barcelona with the Spaniards having the advantage on shots (15-9), shots on goal (7-4), and corner kicks (8-4).

Barcelona finished the tournament with a 1-2-0 record (3 points) while Club America ends up without a win or tie.