HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Volleyball program defeated Mississippi State, 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-13, 25-22), in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup finale on Saturday afternoon inside Athletics/Alumni Center.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 3-3 on the season, while the Bulldogs fall to 6-5.
Houston finished the tournament with a 2-1 record to take runner-up honors.
Sophomore libero Katie Karbo and freshman Abby Irvine were each named All-Tournament for their respective efforts. Karbo averaged 5.77 digs per set and recorded seven service aces, while Irvine, who posted two double-doubles, averaged averaged 5.77 assists and 2.23 digs per set with five service aces.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Both teams battled back and forth in the first set, trading points deep into the stanza. Tied 16-16, redshirt junior middle blocker Chenelle Walker gave Houston the edge with a kill before a Bulldog attack error on the next rally made it a two-point affair and forced a MSU timeout.
Out of the break, Irvine extended the Cougars' surge to 4-0 behind consecutive service aces. The lead never dipped below three points the rest of the way as back-to-back Bulldog errors closed the set 25-20 in favor of Houston.
The second set quickly proved to be another highly contested set. However, this time it was MSU coming away with a 25-20 victory to even the match, 1-1, at intermission.
The Cougars responded strong in the third set, never trailing in a 25-13 win.
Houston jumped out to a 6-1 lead out of the gate to force a Bulldog timeout. Later leading 7-4, four MSU errors helped Houston quickly double its point total and take a 14-6 advantage and force another timeout.
The Cougars held the Bulldogs, who hit a negative .192 clip in the set, at bay down the stretch to reclaim the set advantage.
After jumping out 3-0, MSU forced Houston to play from behind for the first half of the set until a service ace from Irvine tied it up at 11-11. The two teams traded points to get to 14-14 before three Bulldog attack errors and a service ace from senior setter Keandra McCardell put Houston out front.
MSU rallied to pull within one point at 23-22 before freshman outside hitter Gabi Zelaya shut the door with a kill and service ace for the 25-22 final.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Irvine recorded her second double-double in as many matches behind a 22-assist, 11 dig effort. Her 11 digs also tie her career high, while she recorded a career-high four service aces.
Lynch notched a team-best 10 kills, her sixth time to lead Houston in kills in as many matches.
Walker finished with nine kills, while Zelaya and senior middle blocker Brianna Gardner recorded eight kills each.
Setters Katie Krebs and McCardell finished with 10 and eight assists, respectively.
Defensively, Karbo recorded a match-high 19 digs.
The Cougars recorded nine blocks as a team.
Houston outhit the Bulldogs, .169-.108.
The victory is second for the Cougars over MSU and first since the teams initially met in 1984. Both wins have come in Houston as the two programs played their first meeting at Rice University as part of the Rice Invitational.
The victory is the first for Head Coach Kaddie Platt over Mississippi State. She had never coached against the Bulldogs previously.
1. McNeese, 3-0 (Sets: 9-3)
2. Houston, 2-1 (Sets: 8-5)
3. Mississippi State, 1-2 (Sets: 4-7)
4. Stetson, 0-3 (Sets: 3-9)
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.