Cougars end conference win streak after 3-2 loss to Bearcats
The Cougars suffered their first loss of AAC conference play on Sunday afternoon as they tried to pull off another comeback win but fell short against the Bearcats.
Houston and Cincinnati both came out ready to play as they scored points in bunches, and neither team was able to build a comfortable lead.
The game was tied on multiple occasions throughout the first set. Houston managed to pull away late as freshman middle blocker Rachel Tullos got the final point of the set with a block.
The Cougars won the first set 25-23.
The Bearcats quickly put the set loss behind them, jumping out to an early 10-5 lead and then stretching it out to 18-12.
Houston was able to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 23-20 off of another Tullos block, but they were unable to hold off Cincinnati as they closed the set and won 25-21.
The Bearcats kept their foot on the gas pedal in the third set, building another 11-5 lead.
Cincinnati extended their lead to as much as nine and was able to close out the set with a 25-19 win.
In the fourth set, the Cougars flipped the script on the Bearcats as they jumped out to a 10-5 lead following a kill from senior outside hitter Claire Karsten.
Houston pushed their lead up to six on various occasions courtesy of blocks from sophomore middle blocker Isabel Theut and Tullos.
Houston won the fourth set 25-18.
The Cougars jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the fifth set, but the Bearcats answered with a 5-1 run to get the 7-5 advantage.
Houston tied the game off of a Theut kill, but the Bearcats closed out the set strong after that as they won 15-9.
The Bearcats won the match 3-2.
Houston finished the match with 46 kills, three aces, 19.5 total blocks, 42 assists and 52 digs.
Senior outside hitter Megan Duncan led the team with 11 kills.
Junior setter Abby Irvine finished the game with 34 assists.
On defense, Tullos dominated for the Cougars with 16 total blocks while senior defensive specialist Katie Karbo had 14 digs.
The Cougars will look to shake off their first defeat against AAC competition on Friday night in Florida against UCF.