The Cougars returned to Texas after a tough trip to the desert, but found the same result awaiting them – a loss.
UH battled Sam Houston State in Huntsville to an exhilarating five-set finish only to come up short Tuesday, falling 3-2 (26-24, 17-25, 25-20, 16-25, 16-14). The setback moved the Cougars to 1-7, and the Bearkats’ improved to 33-2 all-time against UH.
The match was hotly contested as the Bearkats (5-4) concluded the match with a thrilling 16-14 victory in Game 5. UH had several opportunities in the fifth set, which featured nine ties and four lead changes.
The final set was similar to the first four sets, as neither team could hold the lead for a significant period.
The Cougars led 6-5 before the Bearkats reeled off four consecutive points to take a 9-6 lead. The run was fueled by two UH attack errors between a pair of SHSU kills.
The teams continued to trade scores until the game was tied at 13-13. An Erin Rice kill answered a kill from the Bearkats’ Anna Ferguson, knotting the game at 14.
SHSU finished off the Cougars after Jasmine Terry’s attack error and Carli Kolbe’s kill.
Despite the loss, UH had several bright spots, including outside hitter Kinsey Cave’s career-high 21 kills. She also racked up nine digs, falling just short of a double-double.
The first set was a lengthier parallel of the fifth, as the Cougars worked their way to a 24-23 lead. SHSU battled back, reeling off three consecutive kills to steal the first set, 26-24.
The Cougars responded in the second set with a 25-17 win, attacking more than 30 percent.
The third set was fairly even halfway through, with the Cougars leading 15-12. UH was unable to finish, as the Bearkats used a 13-5 run to glide to a 25-20 victory.
The Cougars bounced back in the fourth set, capitalizing on seven SHSU attack errors to claim a 25-16 win.
The Cougars will look to recover when they head west this weekend for a three-game set in Los Angeles.
UH will take on Loyola Marymount, California-Irvine and Boise State in the Loyola Marymount Crowne Plaza LAX Tournament. The Cougars will face Loyola-Marymount at 9 p.m. Friday before playing UC Irvine and Boise State on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.