Sept. 2, 2011
Houston - Junior middle blocker Nancy Cole pounded a match-high 13 kills to lead the Rice Owls to a 3-0 sweep over Houston Baptist in the first match of the Rice Invitational II inside Tudor Fieldhouse. Set scores were 25-16, 25-18, 25-17. Rice is now 1-2 on the young season, while HBU falls to 5-1.
"The team came out real focused and that is what I am most pleased with," commented Owl head Genny Volpe. "We were hungry for a win and the team came out and followed the scouting report really well."
Cole hit a season-high .632 with only 1 error in 19 attacks and she also had a block solo and 3 block assists. She turned up the heat in sets two and three with 7 and 4 kills respectively.
Says Volpe, "Nancy (Cole) is getting better every day and she is a determined volleyball player right now. She did a great job in transitioning in this match and HBU could not keep up with our speed, with both middles, and Nancy did an excellent job in executing the game plan."
Laurie McNamara smacked 8 kills with 4 block assists, while freshman Lizzy Bache added 6. Libéro Megan White posted her third-straight double-digit dig match with 12 digs. Setter Megan Murphy had 31 assists as well as 9 digs.
The Owls also used their height advantage to register 8 team blocks.
HBU, with 36 kills, hit .163 for the match. Heather Leaverton led the Huskies with 9 kills
Owls Control Set One
Nancy Cole started the match with a service ace and then it was 2-0 with an Owl block as Rice cruised to a 25-16 victory in set one. The Owls hit .407 with 14 kills, led by Lauri McNamara's 5 kills (.714). The Huskies struggled offensively with a .065 attack percentage (10 kills).
Cole Leads Rice in Set Two
With the scored knotted at six, the Owls proceeded to outscore HBU six to one for a commanding 12-7 lead that would not get closer as Rice won set two 25-18. Again, Rice hit for a high percentage (.343) with 14 kills. Cole led the attack with 7 kills, while Bache added 4 kills. HBU improved its hitting with a .282 percentage as Heather Leaverton posted 6 kills.
Set Three to Rice
The Owls pounded 15 kills and hit .419 in set three to win 25-17. Cole once again led Rice with 4 kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Rice also was credited with 3 team blocks. The Huskies hit .118 and were led by Caiti Wenger's 4 kills.
Rice's next match is at 7 p.m. Friday night vs. UTSA in Tudor Fieldhouse.
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