Cougars Edged 3-1 by No. 21 Ohio State in Tournament Finale

Sept. 15, 2012

Final Stats


No. 21 Ohio State
3   Houston

  1 2 3 4

No. 21 Ohio State 25 25 19 25

Houston 19 16 25 13


Houston K A SA
Katie Norris 16 0 1
Chandace Tryon 8 0 0
Abby Simmons 0 24 1
Ohio State K A SA
Mariah Booth 17 0 1


Houston Dig BS BA
Olivia O'Dell 14 0 0
Abby Simmons 11 0 0
Kaiti Waters 1 0 4
Ohio State Dig BS BA
Davionna DiSalvatore 24 0 0


787 Houston played in front of a season-best crowd of 787.

1 The Cougars won their first set of the tournament in a 25-19 set three win over the Buckeyes.

3 Senior captain Katie Norris earned her third straight All-Tournament team selection as the Cougars' representative this weekend.

HOUSTON -- Playing in front of a season-high crowd of 787, the University of Houston volleyball team received a strong effort in the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup finale despite falling 3-1 to No. 21 Ohio State on Saturday evening.

Senior Katie Norris was tagged with a Cougar-tournament best 16 kills to pace the Houston offense. The Humble, Texas native was named to the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup All-Tournament team for her effort over the two-day event. The honor marks her third straight award this year.

Following her offensively was senior Chandace Tryon with eight kills, while freshman Emily Howard, senior Stephanie Nwachukwu and sophomore Kaiti Waters each tallied five. The Cougars totaled 43 kills and were paced by setters Abby Simmons and Caitlin Ogletree's 24 and 13 assists, respectively.

Defensively, Houston totaled 10 block assists as a team, led by Waters' career-best four. She was followed by Howard's career-high three and Tryon's two. Freshman Olivia O'Dell also posted a career-best 14 digs at the libero position, while Simmons finished with 11 digs for a double-double.

Ohio State was led by Mariah Booth's 17 kills.

Houston was able to break open the game and force a fourth set following an impressive set-three performance, which featured 14 kills and just two attacking errors for a .387 percentage. Norris contributed with seven of the 14 kills for Houston. 

The Cougars fall to 1-9 on the year, while Ohio State improved to 9-3. Taking home the tournament crown was No. 18 Pepperdine, who finished a perfect 3-0. The Waves were followed by No. 11 Florida State, No. 21 Ohio State and Houston in second, third and fourth, respectively.


SET 1: Ohio State 25, Houston 19
Houston's attacking game was solid in the early going as Norris led the Cougars with back-to-back kills to trim Ohio State's lead at 8-6. Houston responded with several successful attacks to take over the lead at 12-10. The Buckeyes continued to battle and regain their lead. Both teams exchanged leads with Houston receiving a strong effort at the net across the board. Howard evened the score at 14-14 with a kill; while Tryon responded with her two successful attacks for two points later. Ohio State went up 21-16, but Nwachukwu received a perfect set by Ogletree for the kill to make it a four-point game. The Buckeyes finished with four points in the final six set points to earn a 1-0 lead.

SET 2: Ohio State 25, Houston 16
After being up 6-5 with kills from Norris, Tryon, Howard and Waters, Ohio State went on a 4-0 run to take the lead at 9-6. Following a Houston timeout, Tryon and Nwachukwu tallied two impressive kills to keep Houston within reach and with some momentum midway through the set. Down 16-11, the Cougars used a Norris kill and an Ohio State attack error to narrow the set to three points. Despite a valiant effort, the Buckeyes would finish on a 6-2 run on four kills and the final three points for a 2-0 lead.

SET 3: Houston 25, Ohio State 19
Norris opened the set with two kills to give Houston the early momentum. From there, the Cougars continued to show well along the net, receiving kills from Norris and Vance and a block assist from Tryon and Waters to hold onto an 8-5 lead. Ohio State would tally three straight points to tie the score at 11-11, but Tryon ended that run with a kill that she perfectly placed along the back line. Houston followed with a Vance kill and an Ohio State attacking error to even the score at 14-14. Tied again at 16-16, Houston put together one of the best sequences of the year to earn point 17 following a Buckeye attacking error. Howard's kill and Norris' two successful attacks stretched the Cougars' run to five points and a four-point lead at 20-16. Three Ohio State errors put Houston up 23-19, which allowed Vance's kill and Tryon and Waters' block assist to seal a set win and force a set four.

SET 4: Ohio State 25, Houston 13
Ohio State went up 3-0 to open the set and never looked back. Houston grabbed three straight back to tie the score, but a 4-1 run by the Buckeyes followed for a 10-5 Ohio State lead. Houston saw a few attacking errors give way to an Ohio State lead at 13-5 before Nwachukwu tallied a kill to end the run. Down 20-9, Houston strung together three straight points and forced a Buckeyes timeout. Despite rallying to tag four more points on the board, the early deficit gave way to a set-four win for Ohio State.

Senior Katie Norris
On being named to the All-Tournament team...
"It feels good to know that all the hard work I've been putting in has been recognized. I come out to play hard for my team and if I'm recognized that's great." 

On her teammates...
"They have a lot of drive and determination and they're very hard workers. They've done a great job of working hard buying into the system." 

On playing tough competition this weekend...
"You have to play really hard the whole game. If you let up on one of these ranked teams for a second they're up on you by five or six points." 

Freshman Emily Howard
On seeing a lot of action as a freshman...
"It's been a great experience so far. As a freshman you have jitters and get nervous and it's exciting to play such good teams. It will definitely help us in the season." 

On playing a strong non-conference schedule...
"We're going to be prepared for conference. Playing such good teams definitely gets us ready for that. I'm hoping to take away from this season a conference championship, but also getting the team where we need to be, and doing anything that I can to do that. 

MVP: Jazmine Orozco, Pepperdine
Victoria Adelhelm, Pepperdine
Kelly Woolever, Pepperdine
Katie Mosher, Florida State
Fatma Yildirim, Florida State
Mariah Booth, Ohio State
Katie Norris, Houston

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

Houston will return to the court at 7 p.m. on Tuesday when it opens Conference USA play at Rice at Tudor Fieldhouse.   



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