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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Sports

Houston volleyball’s historic season ends against Stanford in Sweet 16


Houston volleyball went 30-4 in its final season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

Houston volleyball went 30-4 in its final season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. | Sean Thomas/The Cougar

Houston volleyball’s storybook season, featuring 30 wins and a co-share of the American Athletic Conference championship, came to an end Thursday night in the Sweet 16 as top-seeded Stanford swept the fifth-seeded Cougars at Maples Pavilion.

“This one was playing for the icing on the cake versus just trying to build that cake,” said UH head coach David Rehr after the match. “We just really wanted to compete and see if we could shock the world one more time but it just didn’t happen.”

Despite UH using tip shots to jump out to a big lead in set one, Stanford adjusted and took 13 of the final 16 set’s points to erase an 8-point deficit and take a 26-24 victory.

It was all Stanford from there.

“Stanford capitalized and we just couldn’t get that momentum back,” Rehr said. “Playing Stanford, it’s five players that you’ve got to worry about. There’s not a chance to take a breath and a chance to score some points.”

The Cardinal cruised to a 25-16 second-set victory before closing things out with a 25-17 win in set three.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Kendall Kipp finished with a match-high 19 kills on a .472 hitting percentage.

Graduate outside hitter Isabel Theut led UH with nine kills. Sophomore middle blocker Kellen Morin finished with three blocks.

UH ends its final season in the AAC, which included a program-record 20-match win streak and its first NCAA Tournament win since 1994, at 30-4.

“That’s an exceptional group in that locker room,” Rehr said.

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