Aug. 24, 2007
HOUSTON -- Rice was swept 30-21, 30-26, 30-28 by Louisiana Tech, and Lamar downed Oral Roberts 30-19, 26-30, 30-32, 30-24, 15-11 in the opening day of the Mizuno Invitational I at Fox Gym on the Rice campus.
With a pair of freshmen in the starting lineup, the Owls struggled early in game one. As the match progressed their play improved with the teams battling through nine ties and six lead changes in game two. The Owls and Lady Techsters continued to trade blows in game three with 11 ties and 5 lead changes. Louisiana Tech broke a 17-17 tie with a 5-0 run, but Rice fought back. The Owls fended off a pair of match points before the Lacy Techsters' Shannon Phillips, who finished with a match-high 20 kills, scored the final point to end the Rice rally.
Junior Jessica Holderness paced the Owls with 15 kills and 16 digs. Freshmen Caroline Gill and Meredith Schamun both made solid collegiate debuts. Gill tallied eight kills along with three blocks, while Schamun set up 36 assists.
In the first match of the day, Lamar struck the first blow, but Oral Roberts came back strong in games two and three to grad the upper hand. The Cardinals bounced back in game four breaking a 10-10 tie to take the lead for good. Lamar continued to dominate in game five, scoring the first three points and cruising to victory.
Kaci Brewer led the Cardinal attack with 14 kills, one of three in double digits for Lamar. Jackie Oliveira led all hitters with 19 kills.
Tournament action continues on Saturday, beginning at 10:30 am with Oral Roberts battling Louisiana Tech. Rice faces off with Lamar at 12:30 pm, then closes out the day with Oral Roberts at 7 pm. The two Friday winners battle at 4:30 pm.