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Volume 69, Issue 67, Monday, December 1, 2003


V-ball ends year with loss to USC

Cougar Sports Services

The UH volleyball team capped a rocky, up-and-down season on Saturday with a loss to the No. 1 team in the country.

Houston fell 3-0 to Southern California at the Lyon Center in Los Angeles, ending the 2003 regular season. The Cougars made huge strides and improved significantly at the end of the season, but it wasn't enough to defeat the 29-0 Women of Troy.

UH ends the season 12-20, the first time in 22 seasons that the Cougars have not finished with a winning record. The Cougars battled youth, inexperience and a series of injuries all season, playing most of the year with eight of 12 players healthy.

Finishing tied for seventh in Conference USA with a 6-7 record, the Cougars earned the eighth seed in the C-USA tournament. They beat South Florida, the No. 9 seed, and upset the top-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats, but fell to fourth-seeded Memphis.

The Cougars never got within spiking distance of USC, losing the three games of the match 30-22, 30-14 and 30-21. The Women of Troy were superior in nearly every statistical category, outhitting the Cougars .438 to .087, outblocking them 12 to four and outdigging them 39-26.

Freshman middle blocker Becca Sartori and junior middle blocker Cinthia Piva led the modest Cougar attack with 10 kills each, and junior middle hitter Loure Dews added eight.

Saturday's match was the last for senior outside hitter Monica Prince, who leaves the team after four injury-plagued but solid seasons.

Staff writer Barrett Goldsmith contributed to this report.

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