HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Volleyball program swept USF (25-21, 25-12, 25-21) in its "Coogs for the Cure" match on Sunday afternoon inside Athletics/Alumni Center.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 8-10 on the season and 4-6 in American Athletic Conference play, while the Bulls fall to 8-12 overall and 3-7 in league action. The victory also marks Houston's second straight in The American.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After USF jumped out to a 4-1 edge to open the match, senior middle blocker Brianna Gardner sparked a 7-2 run with consecutive points on a kill and service ace to give the Cougars an 8-6 advantage. Leading 9-7 after swapping ralliess, Houston went on a 9-3 run, highlighted by five kills from senior middle blocker Brianna Lynch, to take an 18-11 lead en route to a 25-21 victory.
Lynch finished with six kills on eight swings, while redshirt junior middle blocker Chenelle Walker was perfect 4-for-4 with her touches. Outside hitters Sarah Afflerbaugh and Megan Duncan also finished with four kills, respectively.
The Cougars never trailed and led by as much as 13 points in a 25-12, second-set win to take a 2-0 lead at intermission. Houston recorded a match-high .357 attack percentage while holding the Bulls to a .034 clip.
The Cougars carried the momentum into the third set, jumping out to an 8-4 lead. However, USF rallied to tie the match at 12-12. After swapping points to get to 14-14, Houston reclaimed the edge on a Bull service error.
Later holding the edge at 17-16, the Cougars went on a 3-0 run, highlighted by a service ace from sophomore libero Katie Karbo, before USF once again rallied. Tied 21-21, Houston swapped kills with Bull miscues to secure a 25-21 victory to close the match in straight sets.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Freshman setter Abby Irvine recorded her team-leading sixth double-double of the season with a 21-assist, 12-dig effort.
Afflerbaugh recorded her fifth double-double of the season and 12th of her career with a 10-kill, 10-dig effort.
Lynch and Duncan tied for the match high with 11 kills, while Lynch and Garner co-led Houston with three blocks apiece.
Senior setter Keandra McCardell finished with 19 assists and five digs.
Defensively, sophomore libero Katie Karbo recorded a match-high 17 digs, her 13th time to lead all players in digs on the season.
Houston recorded 50 kills, its most in three-set match on the season.
The Cougars outhit USF, .302-.175. The .302 clip is Houston's highest efficiency in a conference match since joining The American.
The Cougars will continue play in The American with matches at Temple on Oct. 27 and UConn on Oct. 29.
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.