HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Volleyball program rallied from a 2-0 deficit but ultimately fell 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 30-28, 25-16, 11-15) to McNeese in its 2017 season opener on Friday afternoon inside College Park Center as part of the UTA Invitational.
With the decision, the Cougars fall to 0-1 on the young season, while the Cowgirls improve to 1-0.
Houston will close out its participation in the tournament with two matches on Saturday. The Cougars will face off with Southern in a 10 a.m. first serve before seeing the host Mavericks in the finale at 7 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Down 2-0, Houston seniors Sarah Afflerbaugh (10), Brianna Gardner (8) and Brianna Lynch (7) combined for 25 kills across the third and fourth sets to force a winner-take-all scenario.
Unfortunately in the fifth set, McNeese jumped out to a 8-4 advantage and never looked back en route to a 15-11 victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Despite being outhit .174-.136, Houston out-killed McNeese, 70-52.
Senior outside hitter Brianna Lynch led all and tied her career high with 17 kills.
Senior Sarah Afflerbaugh and freshman Gabi Zelaya each recorded double-doubles. Afflerbaugh finished with 14 kills and 11 digs, while Zelaya turned in an 11-kill, 11-dig effort in her collegiate debut.
Senior middle blocker Brianna Gardner finished with 11 kills and tied her career high with four services aces.
On the defensive front, sophomore libero Katie Karbo recorded a match- and career-high 35 digs, while redshirt freshman Kylie Napoleon recorded 11 digs in her inaugural match.
The Cougars ran a trio of setters through their 6-2 formations Freshman Abby Irvine narrowly missed a double-double with 35 assists and nine digs in her first match, while junior Katie Krebs and senior Keandra McCardell recorded 13 and eight assists, respectively.
The Houston Athletics Ticket Office is once again proud to offer the Shasta Pass for the 2017-18 season. For just $80, Cougar fans can purchase one Shasta Pass, which allows season-long general admission entrance to all Houston Volleyball, Soccer, Women's Basketball and Softball home games.
The Shasta Pass offers Houston fans a substantial saving as single-game tickets start at $5 for all four sports. To purchase a Shasta Pass, call 713-GO-COOGS or Click Here.
JOIN POINT HOUSTON CLUB
Fans can help support the Houston Volleyball program by joining the Point HOUSTON Club. To find out more information about the Point HOUSTON Club, visit UHCougars.com or call Cougar Pride at (713) 743-GOUH.