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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Sports

UH volleyball splits weekend matches against Rice


UH volleyball middle blockers Rachel Tullos (11) and Kendall Haywood (16) bump into each other near the net in a game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Aug. 30, 2019 inside of the Fertitta Center. UH volleyball began its 2020-21 season on Saturday against Rice. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

UH volleyball middle blockers Rachel Tullos (11) and Kendall Haywood (16) bump into each other near the net in a game against Texas A&M Corpus Christi on Aug. 30, 2019 inside of the Fertitta Center. UH volleyball began its 2020-21 season on Saturday against Rice. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

After a year-long layoff from the court, the Houston volleyball team returned to action in a back-to-back doubleheader against Rice over the weekend.

Two matches into the season, UH first traveled to the Tudor Fieldhouse, then back home at the Athletics Alumni Center for the second match.

Here is how the games turned out:

Saturday

In UH’s first match of the season, the team came up short after jumping out in front early. The Cougars lost the contest with a final score of 3-2.

After the first two sets, the Cougars held a 2-0 set lead against the Owls.

Sophomore outside hitter Abbie Jackson, who finished the game with a team-high 20 kills, junior outside hitter Kortlyn Henderson, who had 16 kills of her own, and junior middle blocker Isabel Theut, who had 12 kills, became the first UH trio to score a total of 48 kills in their season opener.

UH freshman setter Annie Cooke dished out 52 assists in her debut as a member of the Cougars.

On the defensive end, junior libero Torie Frederick racked up 25 digs for the team. 

However, Rice was able to jump back and outscore UH after a stagnant start to escape with an impressive 3-2 victory. 

 The contest marked UH’s first match of the season. Nonetheless, the Cougars looked to rebound and travel back home on Sunday to rematch the Owls.

Sunday

Following the loss against Rice, the UH volleyball team took care of its opposition with a commanding 3-0 set sweep performance on Sunday. 

In UH’s second match of the back-to-back, the team outscored Rice in a spectacular fashion through the first three sets: 25-23 in the first, 25-21 in the second, and 27-25 in the third.

UH sophomore outside hitter Celeste Darling and Henderson led the team to victory as both nodded a pair of 10 kills. 

Cooke followed up with 31 assists, while Frederick tallied 13 digs in the game.

This victory signifies UH’s first win over the Owls since Nov. 16, 2012. The Cougars start the season off with a 1-1 record. They will return back home on Thursday to take on the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at the Athletics Alumni Center.

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