Keck hits career mark, Cougars can’t overcome Tigers
In the first of two road games, Houston visited conference rival Memphis (20-9, 10-5) on Friday. The Cougars had hoped to break the .500 mark, but suffered a three-set loss (22-25, 21-25, 18-25) to the Tigers instead, dropping to 13-14 on the season and 5-10 in the AAC play.
Despite the loss, the night marked a special occasion for one senior Cougar.
Midway through the third set, senior libero Natalie Keck recorded the 2,000th dig of her career.
Keck led the Cougar defense with 18 total digs on the evening and now has tallied 550 digs this season. The Louisville, Ky., native currently ranks fifth in school history for the most digs in a single season and is also second in the school record book for career digs (2,002).
Houston played Memphis close early in the match, but a potent offense allowed the Tigers to pull away and take the first set easily.
After falling behind 1-4 to start the second set, the Cougars rallied back with 6 unanswered points, but could find no offensive rhythm. In the end, UH had no answers as the Memphis offense took control of the game and put Houston down 2-0.
The Cougars jumped out to an early 6-3 lead coming out of the half but couldn’t make it stick as seven unanswered points gave the Tigers the lead and they never let it go.
Freshman outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh led the Cougars, hitting .333 on 27 attempts for 11 kills along with eight digs and two blocks.
Senior outside hitter Kadi Kullerkann added 11 kills of her own to give her 27 double-digit kill games on the season.
The Cougars will travel next to Cincinnati for a meeting with the Bearcats (14-13, 6-9) at noon on Sunday.