No. 19 Cougars beat Southern Miss in four sets
In a back-and-forth match against unranked Southern Miss, No. 19 UH Volleyball earned another win in their second game of the season on Saturday night with a 3-1 victory.
Coming off a season-opening win against No.22 USC, Houston started the game with fire as graduate middle blocker Rachel Tullos put the first point on the board.
Southern Miss was quick to follow with a point of their own, leading the Cougars and the Golden Eagles into a close fight for the first half of the set.
The back-and-forth continued, until graduate student outside hitter Abbie Jackson hit three kills, pushing the Cougars into the lead, 14-10.
Southern Miss tried to close the deficit, but a kill from Tullos sealed the deal to give the first game to the Cougars.
With momentum from the first set, the Cougars never gave the Golden Eagles a chance in set two, putting the first four points on the board with a service ace from graduate student setter Morgan Janda and kills from both Tullos and Jackson.
An ace from senior setter Annie Cooke forces Southern Miss to call a timeout with UH up 10-4.
Unwilling to let up, senior libero Kate Georgiades hit three services aces on top of an error from the Golden Eagles, forcing Southern Miss into another timeout at 16-8.
The Golden Eagles tried to push back, but a kill from junior outside hitter Grace Wiley finalized a 25-18 second-set win for the Cougars.
The third set proved to be more difficult for the Cougars — for each Houston point, the Golden Eagles followed up with an answer.
Down for most of the set, hope set in when Jackson hit a kill to tie the score at 19-19.
However, it wasn’t enough for UH and Southern Miss finished the third set with a 25-23 win.
The fourth and final set kept the crowd on their toes.
The Cougars were, yet again, the first on the board and kept a steady lead over the Golden Eagles.
A block by Tullos and a kill by Jackson stretched the Cougars’ lead to five and pushed Southern Miss into a timeout down 13-8.
Graduate outside hitter Kenna Sauer achieved two kills, widening the lead yet again to 23-19 before two errors from Southern Miss gave Houston their second win of the season, 3-1.
The Cougars continue their season-opening homestand on Sunday as they play McNeese University at the Fertitta Center.