Volleyball Rallies, but Falls 3-1 to UTSA in Home Opener

Shelby Vance had a career-high eight kills

Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 


3   Houston

  1 2 3 4

Houston 14 21 25 25

UTSA 25 25 20 27


Houston K A SA
Katie Norris 15 1 0
Chandace Tryon 13 0 0
Abby Simmons 2 39 0
Shelby Vance 8 0 0
McKenzie Adams 17 0 1


Houston Dig BS BA
Natalie Keck 21 0 0
Meredith Ware 12 0 0
Olivia O'Dell 11 0 0
McKenzie Adams 20 0 2


8 Freshman Shelby Vance recorded a career-best eight kills in the loss Friday.

630 Houston saw a crowd of 630 fans inside the Athletics/Alumni Center for its home opener.

3Senior setter Abby Simmons recorded her third straight double-double with 39 assists and 11 digs.

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HOUSTON -- The University of Houston volleyball team fell 3-1 in its 2012 home opener against UTSA in front of an exciting crowd of 630 on Friday evening in non-conference action at the Athletics/Alumni Center.

The Cougars dropped to 1-6 on the year, while the Roadrunners improved to 6-2. Houston also fell to 1-1 in four-set matches this season.

Houston fell down early in the match, but quickly responded with an impressive effort in set three and an exciting finish in set four despite falling by two points.

The Cougars finished the night with 47 kills, led by seniors Katie Norris and Chandace Tryon with 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Senior setter Abby Simmons paced the offense with 39 assists. Freshman Shelby Vance had a career night at the net with eight Cougar kills. She had only four kills in 10 sets prior to tonight's outing. Senior Stephanie Nwachukwu added seven to the list.

Defensively, Houston was led by sophomore libero Natalie Keck's 21 digs, while junior Meredith Ware tallied a career-best 12 digs. Simmons finished with a double-double adding 11 digs to her 39 assists.

Houston was tagged with a season-high 24 attack errors, while UTSA tallied 18 and a .247 attack percentage to the Cougars' .148.


Set 1: UTSA 25, Houston 14
Houston saw itself down 8-3 in the early going, but after a quick timeout the Cougars responded with two big kills by Norris and Vance to make it an 8-5 game. UTSA used a 9-3 run to make it a 17-8 advantage following a sharp-hitting outing. The Roadrunners finished on a 5-2 run as Houston committed nine attack errors to fall 25-14 in the opening set. 

Set 2: UTSA 25, Houston 21
Houston battled UTSA much of the set, but the Roadrunners continued to stay solid offensively, pulling ahead by five at 10-5. Vance and Tryon used back-to-back kills to make it a three-point set. Norris came out strong midway through the set, tallying the next three points on kills for Houston. UTSA held a lead from the beginning, but Houston kept it close and took its first lead of the night at 16-15 following a UTSA attack error. The Cougars went up 18-16 after back-to-back points, including a kill from Tryon. UTSA bounced back and tied it at 19-19. The Cougars saw themselves down 24-20 with UTSA's set-point on the line as Simmons came up big with a kill for Houston to keep the Cougars alive. UTSA went on to post a final kill to go up 2-0 in the match.

Set 3: Houston 25, UTSA 20
Houston went up 7-1 following an impressive 6-0 run to open the third set. Vance was solid at the net, tallying three huge kills during that run. A 5-1 run with kills from Nwachukwu, Tryon and an ace by Keck gave Houston a 16-11 lead. That lead held the entire set as the Cougars continued to see a strong performance on the outside by Norris, who finished with eight kills in set two alone. Houston maintained the lead late and never allowed UTSA to come within four of its lead to force a fourth set.

Set 4: UTSA 27, Houston 25
After a Tryon kill, a Ware ace and two UTSA errors, Houston grabbed its first lead at 6-5 following the 4-0 run. The Roadrunners broke Houston's run with a short-tapped kill near the net, but it didn't break up the Cougars' momentum as Tryon gave way to a kill of her own. Both teams exchanged points midway through the set as Houston held a slight lead until UTSA tied it up at 16-16. The set was tied at 20-20. UTSA tallied the next point on its second block assists in three points. Down 22-21, Tryon and Vance came up in a big way for Houston with two straight kills to keep the score tied up as late as 23-23. Back and forth, the final points became game-winners, but Houston saw a 25-25 go in favor of the Roadrunners as they produced the final two points for the win.


Head Coach Kaddie Platt 
Overall thoughts...
"We battled, but we did not come out relaxed and ready to play at the start. We definitely saw improvement throughout the game, which I was pleased to see."

On what was said at halftime...
"We needed to serve better. They are a good team and we couldn't afford to have mistakes."

On players that stood out...
"We had a lot of young players on the court tonight, Shelby Vance did a good job attacking, while Olivia O'Dell showed she could play throughout the entire match."

On the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup next weekend...
"We are playing a couple Top 25 teams, so it will be a great test for our team as far as competition. Our goal as a program is to become a Top 25 team."

Follow Houston Volleyball on Twitter @UHCougarVB and "Like" /HoustonCougarVolleyball on Facebook.

The Cougars will host the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup next weekend, Sept. 14-15. Houston is slated to begin play on Friday at 7 p.m. vs. No. 6 Florida State. For more information, CLICK HERE



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