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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Sports

UH volleyball stays hot at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup


Senior middle blocker Isabel Theut is one of the veteran leaders on the 2021 UH volleyball roster, playing a big role in the Cougars' hot start to the season. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Senior middle blocker Isabel Theut is one of the veteran leaders on the 2021 UH volleyball roster, playing a big role in the Cougars’ hot start to the season. | Courtesy of UH athletics

Houston volleyball kept its perfect record intact over the weekend, going 3-0 at the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup, taking down Mississippi State 3-2, McNeese State 3-1 and later sweeping Louisiana-Monroe to improve to 6-0 on the young season.

Here’s a closer look at how each match went down:

Friday

UH women’s volleyball team won opened up the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup in thrilling fashion,  erasing a late five-point deficit in the fifth set to beat Mississippi State 3-2.

Sophomore outside hitter Abbie Jackson got things going for the Cougars in the first set to with two early kills assisted by sophomore Annie Cook.

UH showed great team effort early in the game, dominating the net led by blockages from senior outside hitter Kennedy Warren to win the first set 25-15.

Mississippi State evened the match, winning a close second set winning by 25-22.

Despite a slow start to the third set for the Cougars, UH got things together building up great momentum leading the team to take the set.

Mississippi State took the fourth set 25-21, forcing a winner-take-all fifth and final set.

UH fell behind early, trailing the Bulldogs 12-7, but things quickly turned around.

Sparked by a kill from senior middle blocker Isabel Theut, the Cougars scored eight of the next nine points to come out on top 15-12 and defeat Mississippi State 3-2.

Saturday

In the opening set, UH had a slew of early errors, and the Cowgirls took advantage.

When a kill from Jackson put the Cougars within two, McNeese State went on an 8-2 run to lead 12-6. Jackson finished the matchup with 10 kills and four blocks.

From there, the Cowgirls held on to a steady lead until Theut added a kill, and senior libero Kate Georgiades served up an ace to lower UH’s deficit to two.

But another 4-1 run from McNeese State proved to be too much for the Cougars to overcome, as UH dropped the first set 25-21.

The Cougars bounced back quickly, starting the second set with a 7-0 run.

The Cowgirls relied on strong serving and better offensive execution to shorten the gap, but UH began to pull away after a slam from senior outside hitter Kortlyn Henderson.

The Cougars took the second set 25-18.

In the third, the lead shifted between the two teams, as both sides showed bursts of dominance.

A 5-1 run from UH changed the nature of the set, as scrappy out-of-system play paired with a strong block opened up the path for a 25-18 Cougar victory.

The fourth set was neck-and-neck as the teams took turns going on short runs.

Down by one, back-to-back kills from Jackson and Theut, who tallied 10 kills, put UH 15-14 going into the timeout.

The Cougars carried the energy to the finish line, ending the final set with a block from Henderson and junior middle blocker Rachel Tullos, who ended with eight blocks, and a 25-21 win.

Sophomore setter Annie Cooke anchored the offense with 35 assists in the match, while Georgiades led the defense with 19 digs.

The Cougars closed out the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup later that night taking on Lousiana-Monroe.

In the first set, UH built up a double-digit lead quickly and despite some late errors, the Cougars took the set with ease 25-18.

UH cruised through the second half 25-13 led by Theut’s eight kills and senior libero Torie Frederick’s seven digs.

The Cougars fell behind at the beginning of set three 3-0 but gained some momentum after Louisiana-Monroe served it into the net.

UH cut the deficit to 6-4 after Cooke saved a ball that led to a kill by Henderson. 

Senior middle blocker and right-side hitter Kendall Haywood gave UH the lead for the first time in the third set, serving an ace to make the score of 9-8 

Over the next 21 points, UH and Lousiana-Monroe went back-and-forth throughout the set and were even at 19.

Finally, UH was able to pull away to take the third set 25-21 and earn its first sweep on the season.

Henderson had five kills and Frederick had seven digs to lead the way for the Cougars in the third set.

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