HOUSTON -- The University of Houston volleyball team suffered its second-straight Conference USA defeat and its first home loss of the 2000 season by falling to South Florida by a score of 3-1 Saturday night in Hofheinz Pavilion.
Feeling the effects of three injured players on the bench, including senior All-America candidate Jennifer Wittenburg who is sidelined with foot injury suffered last week, the Cougars were defeated by South Florida by the scores of 15-9, 12-15, 15-6, 15-12. USF (16-4) won its ninth in a row and claimed sole possession of first place in the National Division of Conference USA with a 9-1 league record. Houston fell to 8-2 in conference and 15-5 overall.
South Florida sophomore Michelle Collier led the Bulls with a match-high 25 kills, 19 defensive digs and two service aces. Rachelle Paul spiked 19 kills with a .316 hitting percentage, 23 digs and five blocks. Crissy Bush added 15 kills with a .343 percentage and four blocks.
Houston was paced by four players in double-figure kills. Senior Bobbi Stewart eclipsed the 20-kill barrier for the second-consecutive match with 22. Junior Gabi Carbone recorded a career-high 25 digs and a pair of service aces.
The Cougars will next face C-USA National Division foe Memphis at home in Hofheinz Pavilion on Friday Oct. 27. First serve with the Tigers will be at 7:30 p.m.
Conference USA Volleyball Linescore South Florida 15 12 15 15 Houston 15 15 6 12 Kill Leaders South Florida: Michelle Collier 25, Rachelle Paul 19; Houston: Bobbi Stewart 22, Jane Anne Karasek 11; Records South Florida 16-4, 9-2; Houston 15-5, 8-2;