BEAUMONT, Texas — Hanging tough with an athletic and aggressive University of Houston (5-4) volleyball team, Lamar University (4-3) took one set from the Cougars in front of a rocking crowd at the McDonald Gym, but ultimately fell to U of H three sets to one on Tuesday.

Abigale Nash recorded 14 kills and 14 digs Tuesday evening, earning her sixth double-double in seven matches this year and the fourth consecutive match with a double-double. Erin Pequeno had 23 digs and a .960 reception percentage, and Annika Slovak had 38 assists. Malaysia Murdock and Dannisha House had nine kills apiece up the middle, and Mercedes Danrich paced the Cards in blocks with five.

The Cardinals kept within two points through most of the first set but couldn't quite keep up with a blistering .469 attack percentage from the Cougars in the first set. Big Red managed to tie the set early and take a brief lead, but Houston took back control behind seven kills from their freshman phenom Abbie Jackson and won the set 25-21. Nash led Lamar with five kills and Pequeno and Kaitlyn Gil each had four digs in the first frame.

Lamar came out of the first stoppage in play with a better defensive effort, limiting Houston to a .103 hitting percentage in the second set. The Cards and Cougars traded the lead six times in an incredibly competitive set that featured extended rallies and deafening cheers from the Cardinal faithful. Lamar edged out Houston in the set 25-23 thanks in large part to a .400 hitting percentage from Nash on four kills and eight digs by Pequeno.

Out of halftime Lamar took an early lead, 4-1, but Houston fought back quickly, retaking the lead as they limited the Cardinal offense to a .000 hitting percentage in the set. The blocking prowess of Danrich, Murdock, and House kept LU in it until about halfway through the set, but Houston just had too much left in the tank and pulled away late, winning the game 25-16.

Lamar tried to keep within striking distance of the Cougars in the final set but again Houston pulled away late, taking the set 25-16 and the match in four sets.

The Cardinals return to action on Friday against Grambling State at the NM State SpringHill Suites Invitational, and will not be back in McDonald Gym until Oct. 3 when they host Stephen F. Austin in Southland Conference play.