Sports Volleyball

Houston remains undefeated in AAC after comeback

Houston completed its fourth comeback in as many games after taking down Tulane 3-2 Friday night. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Houston completed its fourth comeback in as many games after taking down Tulane 3-2 Friday night. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

With Friday night’s 3-2 win over Tulane in New Orleans, Houston completed its fourth comeback in as many games, improved to .500 on the season and remained undefeated in American Athletic Conference play.

The Cougars’ 3-0 start in the AAC is their best conference start since 2013, the year Houston joined The American.

Tulane started off the first set with an early lead and was able to build it up to as much as five. The Green Wave led 17-12, but Houston rallied toward the end and outscored them 8-1 down the stretch to finish with a 25-22 set win.

The second set started off similar to the first, with the Green Wave jumping out early. The Green Wave this time did not allow the Cougars to recover from the deficit as they expanded on their early cushion and won the set 25-18.

Unlike the first two, the third set began with a back-and-forth battle for momentum between the two teams as they tried to capture the pivotal 2-1 lead.

With the Cougars trailing 16-17, Tulane caught fire and closed out the set by scoring eight of the final nine points and winning 25-17.

Much like Houston’s prior three games, it went into the fourth set in a 2-1 hole.

Tulane and Houston once more found themselves at a stand-still to begin the set. The Cougars were able to create separation toward the middle of the set and managed to extend their lead that resulted in a comfortable 25-16 win.

The winner-take-all fifth set began with Houston getting ahead early 4-2, but the Green Wave did not allow the Cougars to build a large cushion as they remained within striking distance.

The set was tied at eight when the Cougars managed to pick up steam toward the end and outscore Tulane 7-4 down the stretch, winning 15-12 and securing the victory.

The Cougars finished the match with 56 kills, seven aces, 11 total blocks, 52 assists and 81 digs.

Sophomore middle blocker Kendall Haywood led the Cougars in 13 kills while junior setter Abby Irvine led the team in 23 assists.

On defense, freshman middle blocker Rachel Tullos was on top for Houston with eight blocks, and senior defensive specialist Katie Karbo led the Cougars in 26 digs.

Houston will look to remain undefeated in conference competition as they continue their road trip Sunday afternoon in Philadelphia to take on Temple.

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