HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Volleyball program fell 3-2 (28-30, 25-23, 26-24, 23-25, 9-15) to SMU on Friday night inside Athletics/Alumni Center.
With the decision, the Cougars fall to 9-12 on the season and 5-8 in American Athletic Conference play, while the Mustangs improve to 17-7 overall and 11-2 in league action.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The first set quickly proved to be a back-and-forth affair. Houston and SMU pulled even 16 times and swapped leads 10 times before the Mustangs used a kill and Cougars attack error to claim a 30-28 win.
After falling behind 2-0 in the second set, the Houston surged with a 6-2 run to take the lead. The Cougars never trailed the rest of the way and led by as much as five points on four occasions en route to a 25-23 victory to even the match 1-1 at the break.
In the third set, Houston turned in its best attack percentage with a .306 clip. In another highly contested set, the Cougars and SMU sat even at 24-24 before redshirt junior middle blocker Chenelle Walker and Duncan sealed a the set with a pair of kills for a 26-24 triumph.
Behind their match-best .295 clip, the Mustangs edged Houston, 25-23, in the fourth set to extend the match.
In the fifth set, the Cougars jumped out to a 4-1 lead behind kills from senior middle blocker Brianna Gardner and freshman setter Abby Irvine. However, SMU responded with an 8-1 run in an eventual 15-9 decision to seal the 3-2 final.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Duncan recorded her second double-double of the season and third of her career in a 25-kill, 12-dig effort. Her 25 kills, which were a match high and marked her 11th time to lead the team on the season, were a career high. Duncan also finished with a career-high six blocks (all assisted).
Irvine recorded her team-leading eighth double-double of the season in a 30-assist, 31-dig effort. Her 31 digs were a career high and marked her first time to lead the team in digs on the season.
Afflerbaugh recorded her seventh double-double of the season and 14th of her career in a 16-kill, 12-dig effort. She added a match-high two service aces.
Gardner finished with 10 kills and a match-high eight blocks (all assisted), one off her career high, while Walker totaled eight kills and four blocks (one solo, three assisted).
Defensively, sophomore libero Katie Karbo recorded 24 digs, while redshirt freshman defensive specialist Kylie Napoleon tallied a career-high 17 digs.
Setters Katie Krebs and Keandra McCardell finished with 18 and 10 assists, respectively.
Despite being outhit .152-.146, Houston out-killed SMU, 71-59..
The Cougars will continue play in The American with a 1 p.m. first serve against Tulsa on Sunday.
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.