UH falls in C-USA opener

The UH volleyball team’s 4-game win streak was demolished this weekend with 3-0 losses against UT-El Paso on Sunday and Tulane on Friday. The Cougars (6-7) are 0-2 in Conference USA this season, their worst opening record since 2003.

In the first set against the Miners, the Cougars quickly got out to a 10-7 lead, but the Miners regained ground and eventually took the set 25-23. The Cougars kept the next two sets close, but lost the second set 25-22 and the last set 25-17. The Miners improved to 1-1 in C-USA and 5-10 overall.

"That has happened to us a couple of times during the year against good teams where we are in a position to win and we kind of get ahead of ourselves," UH head coach Bill Walton said in a press release. "We don’t stay in things. We lose a few points, we get tight and then we kind of break down."

Junior middle blocker Erin Rice had a team-high eight kills and .500 hitting percentage. Senior setter Kelsey King led the team with 23 assists and freshman setter Alik Cardoso de Sa set a career high with nine digs.

Against Tulane, the Green Wave wiped out the Cougars in the first set with a double-digit win (25-13). Senior outside hitter Justine Farmer had a game high of 15 kills, eight of which came in the second set to help the Cougars create a 7-point lead against the Green Wave, but UH and lost the set 23-25

"The first game was pretty much a no-show," Walton said. "Then in the second game, we were up 19-14 and then 21-18. I’m thinking when you’re up 19-14, you probably shouldn’t lose when you’re playing to 25."

In the final set, the Green Wave (10-4, 2-0 C-USA) started with a 6-0 run off three service aces from Tulane senior setter Luna Rebrovic and maintained the lead throughout the set, finishing out a clean sweep against the Cougars.

"I didn’t think we came out with the right emotion (in the third set)," Walton said. "We lost the game and lost momentum, and you have to alter your thinking and your mental approach to the next game. You have to go out there like we won the last game and we have to get the momentum back…. We weren’t able to overcome the six points."

The Cougars are 8-4 in C-USA openers and 22-5 all-time against the Green Wave. Houston heads into conference games against Tulane on Friday followed by SMU on Saturday at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

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