Aug 30, 2013
FRESNO, Calif.- Mariah Riddlesprigger had 15 kills and 11 digs in front of her hometown crowd, but Rice dropped its season opener in five sets to Fresno State. Three Owls had double doubles.
Rice (0-1) drops its season opener for only the second time in the past six years. Riddlesprigger, the Fresno native, had her 16th career double double, hitting .256 on the evening.
Reigning C-USA Setter of the Year, Megan Murphy, also had a double double 10 kills and 52 assists, to go along with six blocks and five digs. Murphy hit .562 for the match.
Preseason All-C-USA selection Jillian Humphrey tied a career-high with 11 blocks and added in 11 kills, for her first double double since 2011.
Chelsey Harris made her collegiate debut, posting 13 kills, making her the first Rice player to have double-digit kills in her opening game since teammate Humphrey in 2011.
Fresno State (1-0) took the first set, an evenly-matched affair, with 18 tie scores, the highest of which was at 21 before the Bulldogs took a 25-22 decision.
The Owls battled back to take the next two sets, 25-23 and 25-21. Rice hit .342 in the third set to take the lead in the match.
Fresno State then battled back to win the fourth set 26-24 in a set that had 11 tie scores and eight lead changes. Rice fought off two match points, but Fresno State won the fifth set 15-12.
The Owls return to action at 12 p.m. on Saturday against Cal State Northridge in the Bulldog Invitational.
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