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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sports

UH volleyball take four-set victory over SMU


UH volleyball has won a school-record 19 straight matches. | James Mueller/The Cougar

UH volleyball has won a school-record 19 straight matches. | James Mueller/The Cougar

The Houston volleyball team capped off its home schedule with a four-set victory against SMU on Sunday at Fertitta Center.

The victory propels the Cougars to 27-2 overall on the season while completing an undefeated 18-0 record in American Athletic Conference play. UH extends its winning streak to 19 games, sitting as the third-longest among active winning streaks in the country.

Houston opened the first set with a string of large runs and jump out to an early 13-2 lead. The Mustangs struggles tremendously to get going on the attack, as the Cougars posed a large threat defensively. UH stretched the lead late and despite a small effort to regain ground in the first by SMU, the Cougars took the first set 25-15.

A tighter second set proved to be a larger challenge than usual for the Cougars. SMU came out much more prominent on the attack and kept it close with UH as both teams combined for 14 ties. SMU came close to equalizing the match, but the Cougars prevailed to take a two set lead after winning the set 25-22.

The third set mirrored the second set with both teams portraying excellent offensive play to keep the set tight in the early going. The trend continued before UH expanded to the largest lead of the set at 20-16 followed by a short run by SMU to square the set at 20-20. The set reached crucial points as the Cougars reached match point with a 25-24 lead. The Mustangs mustered the points and strung together the last three points to cancel the Cougars’ match point and win the third set 27-25.

After dropping a set, UH responded in dominant fashion as the Cougars jumped out to a quick 10-5 lead to force a Mustangs timeout.SMU did not go down without a fight as the Mustangs powered through to even the score near the middle of the set at 15-15. In danger of heading to a fifth set, the Cougars pulled through and closed out the set with a 10-4 run and win the set 25-19.

Graduate outside hitter Kortlyn Henderson led the Cougars in kills with 14 while graduate middle blocker and senior outside hitter Abbie Jackson each also tallied 10+ kills with 12 and 11 respectively.

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