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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Cougars swept away by Green Wave

Fiona Legesse / The Cougar

The Cougar volleyball team dropped its third straight match Friday night as it fell to the Tulane Green Wave at the Athletics and Alumni Center.

In the second meeting of the two teams this season, Tulane topped UH, sweeping the Cougars in three straight sets as well as sweeping the two-game series.

Tulane improved to 20-7 on the season and extended its win streak to eight straight. UH fell to 14-13 overall with a 1-11 conference record. UH is now in last place in the conference, while Tulane is currently No. 4.

The Green Wave opened the first set with a 3-0 lead, which was followed with a kill by sophomore Abby Irvine to put Houston on the board. After a back-and-forth exchange of the points between the two teams, Tulane rattled off points on four of five possessions to take an early 9-4 advantage.

Houston charged back from a 12-6 deficit with a run of four straight points spurred by junior Megan Duncan’s kill, as well as an ace by Irvine and two Tulane errors to make it 12-10.

Duncan has recorded 291 kills this season, ranking her No. 10 in the conference.

UH used a timeout after Tulane’s lead grew to 22-16. The Cougars attempted to rally back, using kills from Duncan, redshirt senior Chenelle Walker and sophomore Silvia Pertens to put the game at 24-20, but Tulane closed out the set 25-20 with a kill from freshman Yvette Burcescu.

The second set was a close battle. Walker smashed a spike into the court early in the set to tie it at 3-3. The two exchanged points quite evenly, with Irvine making an acrobatic dig and drawing the Cougars within a point at 10-9. Following Irvine’s momentum-producing dive, Houston notched another three straight points to take a 12-10 lead.

Following the run by the Cougars, the Wave seemed to settle slightly, tallying a three-point run of their own to recapture the lead at 15-13. After falling behind 18-16, Houston again scored three straight points to take a 19-18 lead, which would be its last of the set. Tulane eventually prevailed 26-24, taking a two-set lead.

Despite an early 3-0 lead to start the third set by Tulane, Houston responded by scoring four straight points, benefiting from three kills by Pertens. Tulane responded by scoring on seven of the next eight serves, however, including five Houston errors, giving the visiting squad a 10-5 lead.

The teams split the next four plays with two points each, which was then topped off by a five-point run by the Cougars to pull within one point and force Tulane to call a timeout. Houston was able to tie the game at 15 thanks to kills by Walker and freshmen Kendall Haywood and Alexis Cheatum, as well as a Tulane error.

The match remained tightly contested until UH looked to capture the set with a 24-22 lead. However, Tulane managed to notch four straight points to win the set 26-24 and the match 3-0.

The Cougars return to the court Sunday at 1 p.m. as they battle Memphis at home.

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