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Friday, September 22, 2023

Sports

Weekend Recap: Football prevails, volleyball struggles


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Fans were treated to the third-largest comeback in Cougar football history when the team defeated UCF 31-24. | Ajani Stewart/The Cougar

Since many Cougar teams are in the thick of their regular seasons, athletic competitions fill the calendar week in and week out.

The swimming and diving, football and volleyball teams all saw action in this past weekend with a mix of wins and losses.

Here is how each team fared:

Football

After a heartbreaking loss to Southern Methodist University on Oct. 22, the Cougars overcame a 21-point deficit and four first-half turnovers to defeat the University of Central Florida 31-24 Saturday afternoon at TDECU Stadium.

Senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. scored two rushing touchdowns and threw for one as the Cougars (7-2, 4-2) outscored the Golden Knights (4-4, 2-2) 28-3 in the second half after entering the third quarter trailing 21-3.

In a month where football hasn’t played to the best of their ability, the Cougar defense responded in the second half. The team forced a season-high four turnovers and allowed just 29 yards of total offense in the final 30 minutes.

The 21-point comeback is the third largest in school history behind the 2014 Armed Forces Bowl and last season’s game against the University of Memphis.

Volleyball

The Cougars continued to struggle in conference play, losing both matches over the weekend in straight sets.

Houston fell to conference-leading SMU 3-0 (13-25, 9-25, 20-25) Friday night in Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

Junior outside hitter Sarah Afflerbaugh led the Cougars (5-18, 0-12) with eight kills, while sophomore setter Katie Krebs made her first career start and recorded 13 assists.

On a night when offense was hard to come by, the Mustangs (17-9, 10-1) outhit the Cougars .358-.081 and held a 12-3 advantage in blocks.

The team didn’t fare better Sunday as the Cougars fell to Tulsa University 3-0 (20-25, 23-25, 21-25) at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa.

Junior outside hitter Brianna Lynch led the Cougars with nine kills while Afflerbaugh added seven kills and 10 digs.

In a match that was close throughout, the Golden Hurricane (15-9, 4-8) were able to string together points when it mattered most, ending the first set on an 8-2 run and the third on a 7-2.

Swimming and diving

In the first dual-meet match of the season, the Cougars fell to SMU 170-128, despite winning five events and totaling 21 podiums at the Carroll ISD Natatorium in Southlake, Texas on Friday night.

Redshirt junior Micaela Bouter (1-meter diving), freshman Zarena Brown (1000-yard freestyle), freshman Lauren Burrell (3-meter diving) and junior Ashley Grijalva (100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke) all picked up victories for the Cougars.

Brown led off with her first collegiate victory. The Cougars swept the 200-yard breaststroke en route to securing the top-two spots in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The Cougars continued their strong history in diving by winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard events.

Burrell won her first collegiate event in the 3-meter.

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