Green Wave pummels Cougars

The Cougar volleyball team jumped out to a two-set lead against Tulane in the semifinal match of the Conference USA Championships, but dropped three consecutive sets to fall 3-2 to the Green Wave on Saturday.

Freshmen outside hitter Nataliya Panova and setter Alik Cardoso de Sa recorded season-highs of 21 and 14 digs respectively, contributing to the season-high 101 digs against Tulane, which defeated Alabama-Birmingham 3-2 in the championship match Sunday.

Senior Justine Farmer finished with a game-high 19 kills against the Green Wave and added 17 digs for her 12th double-double this season while senior setter Kelsey King tied her career-high with 17 kills.

The Cougars (19-12) jumped out to a 7-2 lead to open the set with three blocks from sophomore middle blocker Lucy Charuk before Tulane called a timeout. Houston came out to score 2 quick points to push its lead to 10-3 and was able to hold off Tulane and take a 25-21 win.

With the score tied at 6-6 in the second set, Houston went on a 7-0 run to extend its lead to 13-6, going on to win the match 25-19. Through two sets, King had a game-high 25 assists and 10 kills for her 13th double-double this season.

Charuk had 11 blocks to finish the season with 155 total blocks, the fourth-highest total in UH single-season history.

The Green Wave went on a 7-2 run with the scored tied at 6 in the third set to clinch a 13-8 lead. Tulane notched its first match victory with a 25-22 third-set win.

The Cougars were primed to take the match with a third win after scoring 7 points to open the fourth set, but Tulane fought back and tied the score 16-16. The Green Wave would go on to even the match, outscoring the Cougars 5-2 to take a 25-21 win in the fourth set.

Tulane gained the early 6-2 lead against Houston in the final set. The Cougars pulled within 11-6 but Tulane would stamp its ticket to the championship match by scoring four of the next five points to win the set 15-7.

The Cougars defeated Tulsa 3-1 on Friday to advance to the semifinal round of the C-USA tournament.

Farmer had a team-high 16 kills and 13 digs for her 11th double-double of the season while senior outside hitter Barbara Freitas chipped in with 11 kills and four service aces.

The Cougars play their last match of the year on Dec. 29 against Texas Christian University at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

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