Athletics struggles on all fronts over weekend
It was a weekend the Cougars want to soon forget as the volleyball, football and soccer teams all fell in their respective contests — collectively going 0-3 against American Athletic Conference foes.
After a thrilling last-second victory over the University of Tulsa, the No. 11 Cougars were unable to make it two straight wins. They fell for the second time this season by way of a 38-16 loss to Southern Methodist University Saturday night.
The defeat ended any hope the Cougars had of a conference title and a New Year’s Six bowl as they fell to 6-2 overall this season and 3-2 in the conference.
The win was the first for the Mustangs over a team ranked No. 11 or higher since they beat No. 6 University of Pittsburgh in the 1982 Cotton Bowl.
SMU quarterback Ben Hicks totaled four touchdowns while the Cougar offense was unable to make progress all game.
Senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. was under pressure throughout, going 21-33 for 241 yards and two touchdowns and being sacked a season-high seven times. Ward couldn’t perform on the ground, totaling just three yards on 17 carries.
The volleyball team fell to 0-10 in conference play after losing 3-0 (20-25, 25-27, 33-35) in straight sets to the University of Memphis Friday night at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse in Memphis.
Freshman outside hitter Faith Squier continued her strong run since starting her first game, leading the Cougars with 12 kills while junior outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh added 10 kills of her own.
Junior setter Keandra McCardell just missed a double-double, totaling 22 assists and nine digs with freshman libero Katie Karbo leading the Cougars with 19 digs.
The Tigers outhit the Cougars, .266-.203, while leading in kills, 56-44, digs, 66-61, and blocks, 5-4.
The neck-and-neck match featured 41 total ties and 15 lead changes with both the second and third sets going into extra points.
The only home team of the bunch fell 2-0 to Memphis Sunday afternoon at Carl Lewis Field.
Sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Estopare added to her impressive season, totaling four saves in 70 minutes after starting in the net.
After playing to a scoreless tie at the half, the Tigers took an early lead after the break with a goal in the 52nd minute. They would add another in the 63rd minute, giving them a 2-0 lead. (EL)
The Cougars weren’t able to score a goal and totaled just five shots on the goal from juniors Margo McEntire (2), Kristina Schulz and Kelsey Thein and senior Courtney Dudley.