Rice 3-Wake Forest 0 (PDF Box Score)
BOULDER, Colo. – After spending four days camped out in Waco, Texas unable to return home due to Hurricane Harvey, the Rice Owls volleyball team got back to doing what they love and do best on Friday. Rice returned to the court and recorded a 3-0 sweep (25-19, 25-15, 25-23) over Wake Forest on the first day of the Colorado Omni Invitational at the Coors Events Center.
The Owls (3-2) handed the Deacons (3-1) their first loss of the season with a solid defensive performance, limiting Wake Forest to a .031 hitting percentage. Rice barely trailed through most of the match and had advantages in kills (39-27), hitting percentage (.250-.031) and digs (42-27).
“I can’t say it was very pretty but we came through today,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “You walk away feeling fortunate if you can win and not play to your potential. We are looking forward to cleaning up our side of the net tomorrow and I’m confident we will.”
Offensively, Rice freshman Nicole Lennon led the Owls with 11 kills while fellow freshman teammate Seyvion Waggoner recorded nine kills on 18 attacks for a .444 hitting percentage. Senior setter Madison McDaniel accumulated 28 assists while defensively sophomore libero Lee Ann Cunningham notched 11 digs and junior middle blocker McKay Kyle recorded four blocks.
The Owls hit .290 in the opening 25-19 set victory and never trailed, using a 5-0 run to break a 4-4 tie and never look back. Rice followed with a .172 hitting percentage in set two but held Wake Forest to a .000 hitting percentage for a second straight set. The Deacons played the Owls tough in the final set and led by as much as 13-10 but the Owls closed strong and held off a late comeback attempt with a kill from Lennon to seal the victory.
Rice will be back in action in the morning (10 a.m. CT) when they face Abilene Christian before facing host Colorado at 8 p.m. (CT). That match will be video streamed for free at cubuffs.com.