Sports Volleyball

Houston shakes off skid with win over South Florida

Senior outside hitter Megan Duncan led Houston with 18 kills in the Cougars 3-2 road win over the Bulls on Sunday. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Senior outside hitter Megan Duncan led Houston with 18 kills in the Cougars’ 3-2 road win over the Bulls on Sunday. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

After a two-game skid against Cincinnati and UCF, Houston found itself back in the win column with a five-set victory over South Florida on Sunday in Tampa, Florida.

The first set started off as a barn burner with both teams matching each other point for point.

With the set tied at 20, the Bulls closed it out by scoring five of the last seven points and winning 25-22.

The Cougars responded to the set loss by jumping on the Bulls early in the second set.

Houston was up 4-0 after a combined block from freshman middle blocker Rachel Tullos and sophomore middle blocker Kendall Haywood.

The Cougars found themselves up 20-15 after a kill from senior outside hitter Claire Karsten.

USF remained within striking distance and cut UH’s lead to one point at 24-23, but Houston was able to hang on and win the set off of an ace from senior libero Katie Karbo.

The Cougars got the early lead again in the third set.

Another kill from Tullos put the Cougars ahead 14-10, but the Bulls rallied and closed the gap in a hurry.

Despite being ahead 19-18, Houston saw its lead slip away as USF closed the set, scoring seven of the final eleven points and winning 25-23.

The fourth set began as a tightly contested battle between the two teams.

USF led 6-5, but Houston scored seven of the next nine points to take a 12-9 edge.

A kill from sophomore middle blocker Isabel Theut gave Houston the 21-17 lead, and the set ended on an error by USF that gave Houston the 25-22 win.

Once again, the Cougars found themselves in the decisive winner-take-all fifth set that began with USF jumping out to a 7-4 lead.

A block by Theut cut the Bulls’ lead to two and gave Houston a spark.

Houston would rally after the early deficit to win the fifth set 16-14 off of another error by the Bulls, sealing the 3-2 match win.

Houston finished the match with 63 kills, eight aces, 12 total blocks, 61 assists and 69 digs.

Senior outside hitter Megan Duncan led the team with 18 kills.

Junior setter Abby Irvine finished the game with 51 assists, and Karsten had two aces.

On defense, Tullos dominated for the Cougars with 11 blocks while Karbo had 20 digs.

The Cougars are now 8-2 in the American Athletic Conference, and they will return to Houston for a four-game homestand beginning Friday night at the Fertitta Center against Tulsa.

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