Aug. 26, 2011
Houston - In a match featuring two evenly talented volleyball teams, Delaware came back to win sets four and five to defeat Rice 3-2 in the first volleyball match of the season during action of the Rice Invitational inside Tudor Fieldhouse. Set scores were 22-25, 20-25, 21-25, 25-22, and 15-11.
Rice is now 0-1 on the season, while the Blue Hens are 1-0. Delaware plays No. 6 Stanford on Saturday at 4 p.m., while the Owls and the Cardinal wrap up Rice Invitational play with a match on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Freshman Jillian Humphrey led four Owls in double-digit kills with 16. Laurie McNamara had 14 kills, while Nancy Cole posted 13 kills, and Jordan Meredith tallied 10 kills and 12 digs. Cole also contributed 4 blocks.
Owl setter Megan Murphy played a superb match running the offense. Murphy was credited with 54 assists and she collected 8 kills of her own to go with 16 digs. Senior Megan White, at the libéro position, dug up a career-high 26 digs.
Katie Hank led Delaware with 18 kills, while Alissa Alker added 17 kills and Kim Stewaret 10. Setter Renee Tomko had 59 assists and Cara Rosehill dug up 26 digs.
Owls Rally to Capture Set One
With the score tied at 10, the Blue Hens scored four unanswered points, but behind the strong serving of senior Megan White, the Owls rallied to forge a 19-16 lead.
Delaware then battled back to knot the score at 21. At 22-22, Rice scored the final three points with freshman Jillian Humphrey providing the decisive kill.
Laurie McNamara led Rice and all hiters with 5 kills, while Humphrey and Nancy Cole each had 4. The Blue Hens were led by Katie Hank's 4 kills. The Owls tallied 18 kills and a .148 attack percentage, while UD tallied 10 kills and hit .085. Rice's Megan White was strong defensively as she collected a set-high 11 digs.
Blue Hens Tie the Match
Rice was behind 8-4 early and could not overtake Delaware as the Blue Hens wound up winning 25-20. UD hit .279 with 16 kills and was led by Chelsea Lawrence and Hank's 4 kills. Humphrey and Jordan Meredith led Rice with 4 kills as well.
Owls Take Set Three
The Owls started three on a strong note with an early 9-3 margin that it would not relinquish. Delaware tightened things up at the end, but two emphatic McNamara kills gave the Owls a 25-21 win and a 2-1 edge in the match.
Cole led all hitters with 7 kills as Rice hit .417 (19) kills, while Delaware hit .286 with 13 kills. Alissa Alker led the Blue Hens with 4 kills.
Delaware evened the match at 2-2 with a 25-22 set four victory. Hank and Kim Stewart led UD with 4 kills apiece. The freshman duo of Humphrey and Lizzy Bache led the Owls with 3 kills each.
Set Five to UD
The Blue Hens got off to a strong start with an early 5-0 lead in the deciding fifth set and they were ahead 8-4 when the squads switched sides. The Owls battled to cut the deficit to 12-10, but UD stayed the course for a 15-11 victory.