Aug. 28, 2011
Houston - Sixth-ranked Stanford captured the Rice Invitational crown with a 3-0 sweep over Rice before a crowd of 1,176 at Tudor Fieldhouse. Set scores were 25-20, 25-18, and 25-13. The Cardinal improves to 2-0 on the season, while the Owls are now 0-2.
Owl head coach Genny Volpe enjoyed what she in how her squad adjusted since Friday's match vs. Delaware. "I really liked the way the team hung in there today defensively," said Volpe. "Since Friday, we really worked on cleaning up our blocking and improving our focus. In analyzing film, we looked hard at what we were doing from a blocking perspective and how it was affecting our defense. That transition alone from Friday to today was a huge improvement. I really was pleased that were in smarter positions on the court for blocking and it helped our defense."
Freshman Jillian Humphrey and junior Laurie McNamare led the Owl attack with 7 kills each, while Nancy Cole and Lizzy Bache each tallied 6 kills. Megan White led Rice with a match-high 13 digs and Daniela Arenas followed with 12 digs. Rice managed to hit .105 on the day with 35 kills.
Stanford's Rachel Williams led all hitters with 17 kills and a .310 hitting percentage, while her teammate Carly Wopat posted 11 kills. As a team, Stanford hit .303 for the match with 39 kills and only 9 errors.
Said Volpe, "Their hitters are smart, and in particular (Rachel) Williams and (Carly) Wopat, we would dig them this way or that and they would find a way to get a kill over the block. Those two were certainly tough to stop."
Set One to Stanford
The Cardinal got off to a great start with an early 10-5 lead. Rice battled back to cut the deficit to with in two at 20-18 on a kill by Mariah Riddlesprigger, but Stanford secured the final five points for the 25-20 victory.
Owl freshman Lizzy Bache led all hitters with 5 kills as Rice hit .263 with 16 kills. Stanford hit a remarkable .406 with 15 kills, as Carly Wopat and Rachel Williams each pounded 4 kills apiece.
Stanford Takes Two
With the Cardinal up 13-6, Rice whittled the lead and outscored Stanford 9-2 to forge a 15-14 lead. But that lead was short lived as the Cardinal proceeded to score 11 of the next 15 points to capture set two 25-18.
Rice hit .071 with 11 kills and was led by Laurie McNamara's 3 kills. Meanwhile, Stanford managed to fare a little better at .111 with 10 kills. Wopat and Williams once again led the Cardinal with 4 kills each.
Cardinal Controls Set Three
Stanford controlled set three from the start with 6-5 lead that blossomed to 16-9. The Cardinal then put the set away by tallying nine of the next 13 points to win the set and the match.
With 14 kills in set three, Stanford hit .419 with only one error, while the Owls struggled with 8 kills and a -.029 hitting percentage.
Rice hosts the Rice Invitational II next Friday and Saturday (Sept. 2-3). Houston Baptist, UTSA, and Georgia Tech will vie for the team title. Action gets underway in Tudor Fieldhouse at 11 a.m. as Rice takes on HBU, followed by Georgia Tech vs. UTSA at 1:30 p.m.
Rice Invitational All-Tournament Team
Karissa Cook, Stanford - MVP
Carly Wopat, Stanford
Rachel Williams, Stanford
Chelsea Lawrence, Delaware
Renee Tomko, Delaware
Jillian Humphrey, Rice