Sports Volleyball

UH volleyball offense struggles in loss to SMU

UH volleyball dropped its second match in AAC play on Friday night, falling 3-1 to SMU. | Esther Umoh/The Cougar

UH volleyball dropped its second match in AAC play on Friday night, falling 3-1 to SMU. | Esther Umoh/The Cougar

The Houston volleyball team fell to SMU 3-1 Friday night at Fertitta Center, bringing the Cougars American Athletic Conference record to 5-2 and overall record to 15-4. 

Junior middle blocker Rachel Tullos started the game off with a kill from the middle on the first play of the game. 

From there, the opening set saw both teams battle back and forth.

The Cougars created some space in play and went on a short run early to take the lead by three. 

UH led 9-5 after a setter dump from sophomore setter Annie Cooke, who finished the match with 38 assists. 

SMU fought back and gained a two point lead when senior middle blocker Isabel Theut slammed one down the middle to cut the deficit to one. 

The Cougars had to huddle up after the Mustangs reached 20 points in the set as the Cougars trailed by four.

Coming out of the timeout, UH battled back to bring the game within one, but an overpass from the Cougars with SMU at game point ended the first set 25-22. 

In the second set, the Mustangs wasted no time and began to dominate, taking a commanding 18-12 lead. 

UH struggled to generate much on offense, relying on SMU’s errors to close the gap. 

A kill from Cooke and an ace from senior defensive specialist Torie Frederick, who recorded 14 digs on the night, kept the Cougars alive but ultimately UH dropped the second set 25-18. 

In the third set, back-to-back kills from junior outside hitter Abbie Jackson gave the Cougars some momentum with a 6-0 run. 

Jackson shined with 19 kills and 20 digs in the match. 

After another run sparked by aces and the Mustangs’ mistakes, the Cougars stormed to a commanding 25-16 set victory to close the match two sets to one.

SMU got off to a hot start at the beginning of the fourth set, taking the lead 9-5.

After a kill from Jackson helped UH chip away at the lead, back-to-back blows from the Mustangs made things difficult for the Cougars. 

Eventually, SMU extended its lead to 20-10 to put UH on the brink.

The Cougars could not overcome the dominating advantage held by the Mustangs and lost the last set 25-14. 

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