The Cougars lost a four-set match against the Golden Hurricane to begin their four-game homestand on Friday night at the Fertitta Center.
The first set was a neck-and-neck battle with multiple ties between the two teams as each looked to establish control of the match early on.
Houston was on the verge of dropping the first set as they were down 23-24, but they closed strong, outscoring Tulsa 5-2 to win 28-26 off a combined block from sophomore middle blocker, Isabel Theut, and freshman setter, Emily Edwards.
The Golden Hurricane responded to the first-set loss by getting in the front early and never surrendering the lead.
Tulsa led 11-4 and was able to extend the lead to 20-12 before winning the set 25-17.
The third set began as a closer competition between the two teams until the Cougars were able to create small separation by building an 11-8 lead.
Tulsa responded by outscoring Houston 7-1 to take a 15-12 lead.
A kill from senior outside hitter, Claire Karsten, kept the deficit at three for Houston, but Tulsa carried the momentum from their mid-set run to the end as they won 25-19.
The fourth set was another tough battle between the two teams as Tulsa was looking for the win, and Houston was looking to force a fifth set.
Back-to-back aces from senior right-side hitter Megan Duncan cut Tulsa’s lead to 4-3, but the Golden Hurricane did not falter as they maintained the lead for most of the set.
Back-to-back kills from freshman middle blocker Rachel Tullos kept Houston only one-point behind Tulsa at 13 to 12.
Houston managed to take a 22-21 lead late in the set after another pair of kills from Tullos.
Tulsa weathered the storm, however, and pulled out the win with 28-26.
The Golden Hurricane won the match 3-1, which brings Houston’s conference record to 8-3.
Houston finished the match with 49 kills, eight aces, seven total blocks, 44 assists and 80 digs.
Theut led the team with 13 kills; sophomore setter Kelsey Childers led the team with 24 assists; Duncan led the team with four aces.
On defense, Theut also led the Cougars with four blocks; senior libero Katie Karbo led the Cougars with 25 digs.
The Cougars will look to shake off the loss on Sunday afternoon at the Fertitta Center when they host the Wichita State Shockers.