Sports Volleyball

No. 20 UH volleyball loses both games to No. 19 Kansas

UH dropped its second and third straight game in its road games against Kansas. | Oscar Herrera/The Cougar

No. 20 UH volleyball dropped both of its road games against No. 19 Kansas, falling in five and three sets respectively.

Game 1

The Cougars lost a close one in their first of two road games against the Kansas Jayhawks, losing in five sets despite building a 2-1 lead.

After staying close for the beginning of the first set, UH began to pull away thanks to a 7-0 run led by graduate outside hitter Abbie Jackson and junior middle blocker Kellen Morin. Having built a 20-12 lead, the Cougars would put away the Jayhawks to win set one 25-20.

Kansas was able to jump out to a 13-9 lead early in the second set thanks to a pair of service aces and was able to keep UH at arm’s length for the rest of the set.

UH eventually tied the at 18 thanks to a kill and service ace from graduate hitter Kenna Sauer, but the Jayhawks were able to regain the lead and close out the set.

With the game at 1-1, the Cougars fought and won a tough third set that stayed within three points the entire way.

Senior libero Kate Georgiades ignited UH’s final push when she landed a dig inside Kansas’s half, breaking a 22-22 tie. Graduate outside hitter Nena Mbonu then put away the set with a kill.

The fourth set once again stayed close with the Cougars holding to a  thin lead for the rest of the way before Kansas broke off a 4-0 run late in the set. The quick surge gave Kansas a 21-19 lead despite errorless play from UH for much of the set.

The Jayhawks held onto the lead and sent the game to a decisive fifth set, UH’s first of the year.

Tied at six points apiece, two crucial UH errors allowed Kansas to mount a 4-0 spurt that the Cougars were unable to recover from.

Jackson led the Cougars for the game with 14, while Georgiades landed 27 digs.

Game 2

The Cougars dropped their third game in a row, getting swept by Kansas.

Houston dominated early in set one posting a five-point lead against Kansas (7-2). Middle
blocker Kellen Morin tallied most of the Cougar’s seven kills within the first 10 points of the

The Jayhawks slowly began to climb up into the Cougar’s lead tying the set 12-12 with a
kill. The set remained close with both teams earning points to maintain only a single-point lead.
Outside Nena Mbonu tallied the team’s 20th point with a kill but still, the Cougars came up short
in the set, losing 21-25.

Outside Kenna Sauer posted 14 of the Cougars’ 15 kills in set one. Although Houston led set
one in kills, Kansas’ hitting efficiency proved to be what was needed to win the set.
Set two opened with Houston in a deficit, but outside Katie Corelli clapped back with three kills
early on.

The Cougars held a short lead but later fell to the Jayhawk’s determination, posting
two hitting errors to tie the game. Kansas took advantage of Houston’s errors, beating it to point

From there, the Cougars were only able to score one more point and gave set two to the

Houston struggled with defending Kansas’ attacks, allowing it to score seven detrimental kills to
open the third.

The Jayhawks then attained a six-point lead, leaving the Cougars shut out 13-19.
Although the Cougars were able to side out with a kill from outside Abbie Jackson (21-24), they
ultimately were unable to clinch the set, giving the match to the Jayhawks in three.

Jackson led the match in kills while middle Rachel Tullos and Jackson dominated in blocks.

The Cougars are set to play West Virginia on Friday and Saturday at home in UH’s first home games since August. Houston has not lost a match to West Virginia since its first faceoff in 1987.

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