Lucy Charuk finishes with a game-high 17 kills against Rice.
Nov. 27, 2010
HOUSTON - The University of Houston volleyball team lost its season finale 3-2 (25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 19-25, 14-16) Saturday night at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Cougars finish the season with a 19-13 record, including a 13-7 mark and a third place finish in Conference USA play.
"The hard part to swallow about tonight's match is that from start to finish this team has transformed into a completely different team than we were on Aug. 27. To finish with a loss is hard," head coach Molly Alvey said. "We don't want to lose sight of that transformation. At times tonight we competed unbelievably well, and it came down to making too many errors."
"Lucy played lights out tonight with her blocking and attacking. That is the level we need her to play at all of the time. The leadership that shows is a confidence boost to the team and gets them playing harder. Amanda did a great job covering the court and she played like a senior which was a difference maker for us."
The Cougars fell behind during the early points of the match. Rice jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but UH answered with a 7-1 run to pull ahead 10-7 and force the Owls to call their first timeout. Off the bench, Houston scored four-straight points to take a 14-7 lead and prompt a second timeout from the Rice bench.
The Owls went on a 7-2 run following the second timeout and pulled within two at 16-14 before Alvey called her first timeout of the night. UH was able to regroup after the break and go on to win the set 25-18. Houston scored five of the final six points en route to the win.
After trailing most of the second set, Houston pulled within two, 21-19, and then went on a 4-0 run to take their first lead at 23-21. After surrendering the lead, Rice was forced to take a timeout. The Owls scored the first point out of the break, but the Cougars stole all of the momentum and went on to win 25-23.
After recovering from a 3-0 deficit in the third set, Houston surrendered the lead to the Owls, 10-8, and was forced to take a timeout. Rice added to its lead before the Cougars were able to pull within one, 13-12, but Rice scored the next four points to extend their lead, 17-12.
Christine Pinder and Charuk ended the run with back-to-back kills, quickly forcing a timeout from the Rice bench. The Cougars were able to play a close match after the break, trailing just one point, 21-20, but the Owls scored the next two points. Out of a UH timeout, Rice scored two of the next three points off the bench to earn their first win of the night, 25-21.
Both teams traded points for much of the fourth set. With the score tied 13-13, Rice was able to put together a 3-0 run for a 16-13 lead. With their largest deficit since trailing 3-0 to start the set, Alvey was forced to call a timeout and regroup her team.
Rice held the momentum out of the break, scoring the next three points. They would continue to control the pace of the set and go on to earn the 25-19 win.
The Owls took an 8-5 lead to open the fifth set but Houston was able to battle back and tie the set 9-9. They would trade points with Rice to tie the set at 11-11 before the Owls scored back-to-back points to take a 13-11 lead. A timeout was called from the UH bench and the Cougars pulled to within one, 14-13, before a second timeout was quickly called from the Rice sideline.
The Cougars were able to tie the set on the next point but Rice answered, scoring the next two points for the 16-14 win.