Nov. 17, 2012
|No. 3 UCF
|3||No. 7 Houston
|Katie Norris||16||1||0||Chandace Tryon||10||0||1||Abby Simmons||1||32||1|
NUMBERS OF NOTE
1 Houston wrapped up the 2012 Conference USA Championship with a 1-1 record under first-year head coach Kaddie Platt.
4 Houston finished among the league as a Top 4 finisher in this year's tournament.
TULSA, Okla. — The 2012 Houston Volleyball season comes to an end as the Cougars drop a 3-0 heartbreaker to No. 3-seed UCF in the Semifinal Round of the C-USA Championship on Saturday afternoon at Donald W. Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Houston wrapped up the year under first-year head coach Kaddie Platt with a 9-19 overall record and a 1-1 mark during the league’s championship, finishing among the Top 4 in the event. Four seniors wrapped up their remarkable collegiate careers as Katie Norris, Chandace Tryon, Stephanie, Nwachukwu and Abby Simmons all led Houston in the final game of the year.
Norris led Houston with 16 kills for her 23rd double-digit kill effort of the season. Following the Cougar captain was Tryon with 10 for her 11th multi-kill performance of the year. Other Houston players contributing was freshman Emily Howard and Nwachukwu with six and five kills, respectively. Simmons tallied her 17th 30+ assist game with 32.
Houston out attacked UCF, .171 to .155, led by Tryon’s .429 performance.
Defensively, Houston led UCF in digs with 66 to 55 as sophomore libero Natalie Keck paced the team with 21 digs. She was followed by freshman Olivia O’Dell and junior Meredith Ware with 13 and 10, respectively.
The Cougars continued their dominance in blocking, tallying 19 to UCF’s 10. Norris and Tryon led the Cougars with five block assists, while Howard added four.
UCF was led by DeLaina Sarden’s 12 kills.
UCF 3, HOUSTON 0
SET 1: UCF 25, Houston 23
Houston went up 2-0 before UCF grabbed its first point of the match. Two kills by Norris lifted the Cougars to a 5-2 lead, but UCF rallied with a 5-1 run to take a 7-6 lead before a Tryon kill ended the run. Five consecutive points by Houston, including two kills by Tryon and a block assist by Tryon and Simmons allowed the Cougars to regain their early lead with an 11-7 advantage to force a UCF timeout. The Knights then responded with four unanswered points to tie the score at 11-11. Tryon and Norris each then answered with kills. Houston maintained a short lead until the Knights used several attacking errors to regain its lead at 18-17. Down 22-19, Houston rallies with three points to tie set at 22-22 to force a late Knight timeout. The Cougars received a kill from Howard, but UCF finished with back-to-back points for the win.
SET 2: UCF 25, Houston 22
Houston jumped out to an early 4-1 lead with back-to-back points by Tryon. After UCF narrowed the gap, kills by Norris and Howard put the Cougars ahead 8-4. UCF then managed to use an 11-1 run to take over the lead at 15-9. With Houston down 20-13 following a solid effort by UCF, Houston never backed down, using four kills by Norris and converting on six points to make it one-point game at 20-19. UCF connected on back-to-back points late for set point, but Tryon’s seventh kill kept the Knights from the set win until a final successful attack followed for a 2-0 UCF lead.
SET 3: UCF 28, Houston 26
Both teams exchanged points to open the set. A Tryon kill gave Houston a two-point lead at 9-7 after breaking open a 6-6 stalemate. Kills by Tryon, freshman Shelby Vance, Howard and Norris put the Cougars up 14-11, forcing a UCF timeout. Houston went up 18-14, but the Knights responded with two quick points to narrow the deficit to two. The Cougars tacked on points from a block by Nwachukwu and a kill by Vance to extend their lead back to four. Up 21-18, Norris won on an attack at the net for the next point, while UCF picked up a kill. Houston and UCF each responded to each other’s scores as the Cougars led 23-21 after back-to-back block assists by Norris and Tryon. UCF tied the score at 25-25 until Nwachukwu tied it back at 26-26. UCF finished with the final two points of the match for the win.
Head Coach Kaddie Platt
Thoughts on the match
“Well I think UCF played us pretty tough. We were behind a lot. We just struggled a bit serving and passing. We didn’t serve tough enough. We were a little out of sorts with our service. We ran a pretty predictable offense and they did not because we didn’t serve tough enough.”
Reflection on the season
“It’s been a great year. It was my first year. I really appreciate the girls and all the work that they’ve put in. I couldn’t ask for a greater group of girls to commit to the things we’re asking them to do, which was different to things that they had done. They bought in and they work hard every day. So we’re proud of them.”
On having the tournament again
“Especially someone like us… having our the record we did coming in it gave us the opportunity to play yesterday and have a great win for the program. The conference tournament gave us the opportunity to do that. I always think that whoever is playing the best at the end of the year is who deserves to go on. So if you win the tournament you deserve to play in the NCAA tournament. I think it’s a great thing.”
On next year
“I’m not quite there yet but I think we’ll recover a day and hit the road recruiting. We’ve got a lot of good returners coming back so we have a lot to look forward to.”