Volleyball: Houston Hits Road to Open American Athletic Conference Play - Tulsa (L 3-1) and SMU (L 3-0)

Get to find out a lot about this team this weekend as they go on the road, but they can win both these matches if they play well. I’ve been surprised so far as they’ve been competitive this year so hopefully it will continue.


• The Golden Hurricane will play its home opener when it faces Houston on Friday.
• Tulsa enters conference play with a 6-6 record with wins over UTEP, UMKC, SIUE, Wright State, Texas Southern and Oral Roberts.
• Junior Emily Thorson ranks third in The American in kills per set (3.81), while freshman Callie Cook is fourth in hitting percentage (.332). Sophomore Taylor Horsfall sits fourth in the league in digs per set (5.04). Freshman Lindsey Ledyard ranks sixth in the conference in assists per set (8.57), first among freshmen.
• The Golden Hurricane is under the direction of fourth-year Head Coach Ryan Willis.
• Tulsa was tabbed ninth in The American Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

• The Mustangs, who host Tulane on Friday to open conference, own a 6-5 record with wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Ole Miss, Arkansas State, UTSA, Texas State and UMass Lowell.
• SMU, which is 1-4 at home, leads the conference in digs per set (17.49) and ranks third in assists per set (12.67) and blocks per set (2.28), and fourth in kills per set (13.40).
• Senior Lauren Mills is third in The American in service aces per set and sixth in kills per set (3.56). Sophomore Kendall Patterson is third in the league in assists per set (9.28), while freshman Lexi Nordmann is tied for fourth in blocks per set (1.19). Sophomore Montana Watts ranks seventh in conference in digs per set (4.70).
• Head Coach Lisa Seifert is in her 22nd season at the reins of the Mustangs.
• SMU was picked fourth in The American Preseason Coaches’ Poll.


• Duncan posted her first double-double of the season and second of her career behind a 10-kill, 15-dig effort. She has led Houston in kills in each of the last three matches. Duncan also tied her career high with two service aces.
• Walker finished with nine kills and three blocks (one solo, two assisted), while Gardner finished with six kills and four blocks (all assisted).
• Freshman outside hitter Silvia Pertens tied her career high with five kills while recording her first three career blocks (all assisted).
• Setters Abby Irvine and Katie Krebs finished with 19 and 12 assists, respectively.
• Defensively, libero Katie Karbo recorded a match-high 26 digs, her seventh time to lead all players in digs on the season. She also finished with two service aces.
• The Cougars recorded eight blocks as a team.
• The Golden Hurricane outhit Houston, .145-.065.
• Redshirt freshman defensive specialist Kylie Napoleon and Pertens each recorded their first career starts in the match.

The team was in each set, but just couldn’t close it out. Much improvement this year compared to last year’s team which was steamrolled up at SMU.


_• Irvine posted her team-leading third double-double of the season behind an 18-assist, 10-dig effort. _
• Afflerbaugh led Houston with 10 kills and a season-high three service aces, while senior outside hitter Brianna Lynch registered nine kills.
• Redshirt junior middle blocker Chenelle Walker and sophomore outside hitter Megan Duncan each finished with five blocks (all assisted), respectively.
• Junior setter Katie Krebs finished with 10 assists and eight digs.
• Defensively, libero Katie Karbo recorded a match-high 18 digs, her eighth time to lead all players in digs on the season.
• The Cougars recorded eight blocks as a team.
• The Mustangs outhit Houston, .198-.111.

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