HOUSTON -- The University of Houston Volleyball team defeated Tulane, 3-1 (25-15, 25-20, 24-26, 25-18), on Wednesday afternoon inside Athletics/Alumni Center.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 11-16 on the season and 7-12 in American Athletic Conference play, while the Green Wave falls to 14-18 overall and 3-16 in league action. The victory also marks the final home match for five players -- setter Keandra McCardell, outside hitters Sarah Afflerbaugh and Brianna Lynch, middle blocker Brianna Lynch and defensive specialist Kendall Montgomery.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Houston set the tone early in the opening set. The Cougars jumped out to an 8-2 advantage, highlighted by three kills on three swings from Gardner, and went on to lead by as many as 10 points in a 25-15 victory. The Cougars hit a team-best .282 attack percentage, while forcing Tulane into a negative .054 efficiency.
In the second set, Houston opened on a 4-0 run, capped with a service ace from Afflerbaugh, and never trailed en route to a 25-20 win and 2-0 lead at intermission.
The third quickly proved to be a back-and-forth affair with five lead changes and 13 ties, as neither team led by more than three points. With the Cougars leading 24-22, Tulane closed the set on a 4-0 run to extend the match.
Houston regrouped in the fourth set behind six- and five-kill performances from outside hitters Megan Duncan and Silvia Pertens. After trading points to get to an 11-10 lead, the Cougars went on a 7-0 run, capped by three consecutive kills from Duncan to take a sizeable lead at 18-10. Houston's lead never fell below three points the rest of the way in a 25-18 triumph to seal the 3-1 victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Freshman setter Abby Irvine recorded her team-leading 10th double-double of the season in a 22-assist, 10-dig effort.
Duncan led Houston with 14 kills, coincidentally her 14th time to lead the team on the season. She also finished with three blocks (all assisted).
Lynch finished with 11 kills, while Pertens finished with eight kills and three blocks (all assisted).
Redshirt junior middle blocker Chenelle Walker tied her career-high with nine blocks (three solo, six assisted). Her nine blocks also tie Gardner, who finished with six kills, four blocks (all assisted) and two service aces, for the most recorded in a match on the season with both coming in four-set matches. Gardner recorded nine blocks (one solo, eight assisted) against Stetson in the team's home opener on Sept. 8 as part of the Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup.
Sophomore libero Katie Karbo led all with 23 digs, her 17th time to lead all players in digs on the season. She also finished with a career-high nine assists and one service ace.
Afflerbaugh tallied 14 digs, seven kills and four service aces.
McCardell finished with 19 assists, five digs and one service ace.
Houston outhit Tulane, .248-.135.
The Cougars will conclude their season with a 1 p.m. first serve at Tulane on Friday.
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.