Sept. 2, 2011
Houston - Junior Nancy Cole had a match-high 14 kills to lead the Rice Owls to a convincing 3-0 victory over UTSA in Rice Invitational II action inside Tudor Fieldhouse. Set scores were 25-15, 25-21, and 25-16. With the win, the Owls are now 2-2 on the season, while UTSA falls to 1-4.
"Our offense was really clicking - very fast and quick and UTSA had a hard time with it," commented Owl head coach Genny Volpe. "Our passing and defense to our setter Megan (Murphy) was pretty strong and Megan was able to use our middles a lot and spread the offense around. I thought Megan did an awesome job."
Cole also had a match-high .367 hitting percentage to go with two service aces. Murphy finished the night with a match-high 39 assists, 7 kills, and 7 digs. Laurie McNamara posted 9 kills (.300), while Jillian Humphrey had 7 kills (.417). Senior libéro Megan White collected a team-high 18 digs.
As team, the Owls hit .347 with 45 kill and only 10 errors. UTSA, meanwhile hit .171 with 39 kills. Whitney Walls led the Roadrunners with 11 kills, while Elise Huskey added 10 kills.
Owls Pull Away in Set One
Set one was tied at nine, before Rice proceeded to go on a 9-3 run to forge a commanding lead that led to a 25-15 victory, that was punctuated by a Nancy Cole service ace. Cole also led all attackers with 6 kills and a .545 hitting percentage.
As a team, the Owls hit .548 with 17 kills (zero errors), while UTSA managed a .200 hitting percentage. Dempsey Thornton led the Roadrunners with 5 kills.
Replay of Set One
Much like set one, that was tight in the early one, Rice snapped a 6-6 tie by outscoring UTSA 8-2 for a 14-8 lead that it would not relinquish in winning 25-21. Rice had 15 kills to UTSA's 13 and a .205 hitting percentage to the Roadrunners' .184
Cole once again led Rice with 4 kills, while Whitney Wall of UTSA led all hitters with 6 kills. Rice's Megan Murphy posted 12 assists.
Set Three Sweep
Rice senior Jordan Meredith smacked a kill to break a 6-6 tie that propelled the Owls to a convincing 17-10 lead that led to a 25-16 set three win. Meredith had three kills in the set for a .429 hitting percentage, while Cole had 4 kills and a .667 hitting percentage. Rice had 13 kills with 12 assists by setter Murphy and a .323 team hitting percentage. Conversely, the Roadrunners hit .128 with 12 kills.
Rice now hosts Georgia Tech (3-1) on Saturday (Sept. 3) at 7 p.m. to conclude the Rice Invitational II.
"Georgia Tech is super physical and we are expecting a lot from them and they have a great coaching staff and they are really athletic," says Volpe. "Our team is showing that it is more comfortable and confident and so it should be a great match-up Saturday night."