Cougars suffer second AAC loss against Knights
Houston was swept in a three-set matchup against American Athletic Conference opponent UCF on Friday in Orlando, Florida, leaving their AAC record at 7-2.
The Cougars came out strong, maintaining a lead of three points throughout the beginning of the first set, but the Knights responded with a four-point run for the lead, forcing Houston’s first timeout.
The lead continued to bounce between the two teams after senior outside hitter Megan Duncan set the tone with an ace, leaving the score at 22-19.
After a timeout by the Knights, UCF came out with newfound energy and went on to score the next 11 points to take the first set at 27-25.
At the top of the second set, Houston once again took an early advantage with a strong performance from the Cougar offense.
Senior outside hitter Claire Karsten and freshman Rachel Tullos both added kills to boost the lead.
Houston maintained a four-point lead until UCF came back and went on a run to tie the game.
The Knights stretched their lead all the way until the end of set two, creating a final score of 25-19.
Going into the third set, UCF jumped out to an early lead, but clutch blocks by sophomore middle blocker Isabel Theut and junior setter Abby Irvine helped the Cougars to come back.
But, Houston could not stop the Knights’ offensive run, and UCF won the third set 25-15.
The loss puts Houston overall record of 13-11 for the season.
Houston still remains first in the AAC West.
By the end of the match, Irvine tallied up 41 assists, a personal record.
Senior libero Katie Karbo inched closer to the conference all-time digs record, contributing 14 digs in the match.
Karsten and Thuet brought in the kills, with 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
Houston will round out their trip to the Sunshine State with a game against South Florida on Sunday.
After that, they will return home to the Fertitta Center to host Tusla on Nov. 1.