Aug. 31, 2012
HOUSTON- Rice volleyball fell in five sets to No. 7 Purdue in the Tiger Classic at Fox Gym on Rice's campus. The seventh-ranked Boilermakers came back from a 2-1 deficit to win the match.
"Im pleased with our attitude adjustment from the first match to the second one today," said Rice Head Coach Genny Volpe. "We talked about not letting one mistake lead to another, and I feel like we did much better in that area. I think that if we can continue on the road we established tonight, we are going to be a really tough team to contend with."
"Playing this level of competition brings out some of our weaknesses, whereas playing weaker competition it doesn't really do that," added Volpe. "We're learning from this tournament how to reach the level we want to be at, which is in the discussion of the top volleyball teams in the nation."
Seventh-ranked Purdue advances to 4-1 on the season, while the Owls fall to 2-4. Megan Murphy posted 50 assists, the first 50+ assist game for Rice this season. She has 34 or more assists in five of six games this season.
Nancy Cole led the Owls with 15 kills, and added four blocks to her total. The senior from Duncan College is now 46 kills away from 1,000 for her career.
Lizzy Bache posted a double-double for the Owls, her first of the year. Bache had 12 kills and 15 digs.
Jillian Humphrey had a season-high 14 kills on the evening. Mariah Riddlesprigger added in nine kills, and Laurie McNamara earned eight kills. Daniela Arenas posted a season-high 17 digs. She has double-digit digs in five of six matches so far this season. Riddlesprigger had 12 digs.
Rice jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set, and received a quick start from Riddlesprigger, who had four kills by the time the score was 7-4 Rice. The Owls were led by Bache in the first set, who contributed four kills, eight digs and a service ace in the opening stanza.
The seventh-ranked Boilermakers came back in the second set to take a 25-13 set victory. The Owls got three kills from Cole in the second set.
The Owls broke four set points to eventually take the third set 29-27. Humphrey led Rice with five kills in the third set. Laurie McNamara had two kills in the set, but at the most opportune times, breaking set points at 24-23 and 25-24 to keep Rice in the set.
Rice trailed for most of the fourth set, but tied the set at 17, before Purdue pulled away. Humphrey posted six kills in the fourth set.
The match moved to a decisive fifth set, where Purdue took a 4-0 lead before the Owls tied the set at four. Rice pulled within 10-9 to the Boilermakers, but Purdue took the next five points to win the match 3-2.
The Owls conclude the Tiger Classic, at 11 a.m. Saturday, hosting No. 12 Washington. The match takes place in Rice's Fox Gym, and tickets are $5.00 cash at the door.