Emily Howard, Stephanie Nwachukwu
Sept. 21, 2012
|Stephanie Nwachukwu||15||0||0||Katie Norris||13||0||1||Caitlin Ogletree||0||28||2|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
18 Katie Norris tallied a career-high 18 digs to lead Houston on the defensive end.
3 Houston played its third five-set match of the year, falling to 1-2 in those matches.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Senior attackers Stephanie Nwachukwu and Katie Norris led the University of Houston volleyball team with 15 and 13 kills, respectively, but it wasn't enough as UAB pulled out a 3-2 win over the Cougars in Conference USA action on Friday evening.
Houston fell in set one, but rallied to win sets two and three. UAB then responded with a strong offensive finish to capture four and force a deciding set five, which came down to the final points for the win.
Led by several career-bests, Houston played its third five-set match of the year. Following Nwachukwu and Norris on the offensive end was senior Chandace Tryon with nine kills, while freshmen Emily Howard and Shelby Vance played well along the net with seven and six kills, respectively. Sophomore Taylor Whileyman chipped in with a Houston career-high four kills.
Sophomore setter Caitlin Ogletree tallied a team-best 28 assists and joined Norris with a double-double, tallying 10 digs, while Norris posted a career-best 18 digs for the Cougars on the defensive end. Freshman Olivia O'Dell added 10 digs and Nwachukwu and Howard were each tagged with five block assists.
UAB was led by Kirsten Gallagher's 16 kills.
Houston dropped to 1-11 on the year and 0-2 in C-USA with the loss, while UAB improved to 7-8 and 1-0.
UAB 3, HOUSTON 2
SET 1: UAB 25, Houston 18
UAB grabbed a 3-0 lead before Nwachukwu had back-to-back kills for Houston. The Cougars pulled within one at 6-5 after three Blazer errors, but UAB went on a 6-2 run to extend its lead to 12-7. Houston rallied for three unanswered points to make it a 13-12 game. Battling, the Cougars were never able to pull within less than three in the second half of the set as UAB finished on a 4-1 run, collecting the final three points of the set for a 1-0 lead.
SET 2: Houston 25, UAB 20
The Blazers jumped out to a quick 5-2 lead with four straight points, but Houston settled in and received big kills from Norris, Nwachukwu, and Vance to make it a 9-8 game with UAB up by one point. Following three kills by UAB, Houston posted its best run of the set with a 6-1 run to take over the lead at 15-13 and force a UAB timeout. Nwachuwku teamed up with Tryon for a huge block assist, while also tallying a kill of her own to extend the Cougars' lead late. UAB helped out Houston with two errors to go up 21-17. Two Blazer kills kept Houston on its toes for a 21-19 score, but the Cougars finished with four unanswered points with kills by Howard, Norris and Nwachukwu to tie the match at 1-1.
SET 3: Houston 25, UAB 15
Despite seeing itself down for the third straight set, Houston rebounded quickly and rallied with three straight points with kills by Vance and Tryon and a service ace by O'Dell. The Cougars go up by four at 9-5 after Tryon collected another kill, followed by a UAB attack error. After Houston collected its third service ace of the set, UAB committed two attack errors to give the Cougars a manageable 17-9 lead. A 6-1 run by Houston forced a Blazer timeout as the Cougars extended their lead at 19-10. Attacking came alive in the final set points as Houston finished with seven kills by Tryon, Nwachukwu, Whileyman, Norris and a block solo by Howard to take a 2-1-match lead.
SET 4: UAB 25, Houston 12
After exchanging points for much of the first half of the set, Houston ran into a scoring lull when UAB posted 12 unanswered points with three service aces and three kills to go up 23-11. Howard broke UAB's scoring surge with a block, but the 12 straight was extended with two final points to force a fifth set.
SET 5: UAB 15, Houston 11
Houston fell down 3-0, but a UAB attack error put the Cougars on board for the first time in the final set. Norris had back-to-back kills to spark a Houston surge, which allowed the game to see a 6-6 draw that followed with kills from Whileyman, Howard, and Nwachukwu to allow Houston to go up 8-6. Four straight kills by the Blazers allowed them to regain the lead at 10-8, but Vance and Nwachukwu had consecutive kills to trim UAB's lead to one at 11-10. A 4-1 final run by UAB sealed the match win.
Houston will return to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Memphis in C-USA action before returning home to host Tulsa at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 and SMU at 1 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30.