Kimberly Vaio led the Owls with 16 digs in their 3-2 win over UConn.
Sept. 6, 2014
Final Stats | Box Score | Season Stats
RALEIGH, N.C. - Just hours after suffering a five-set loss to host North Carolina State, the Rice Owls volleyball team responded with a five-set victory of their own Saturday morning by defeating the University of Connecticut Huskies (21-25, 25-12, 25-18, 15-25, 15-8) on day two of the Courtyard Midtown Classic
Rice had lost their previous eight, five-set matches, which included two this season. The five-set victory was the first for the Owls since a 3-2 triumph over UTEP in El Paso back on Oct. 21, 2012.
"I'm extremely proud of our determination," Rice head coach Genny Volpe
said. "Losing a five-set battle last night and bouncing back in just a few hours to be put to the test again was tough. UConn is extremely athletic and played gritty volleyball but I just challenged the team to outlast them and take care of the ball. They responded. Kimberly Vaio
had a great match and Sara Blasier
ran a balanced offense, which proved to be key."
Rice (3-3) outhit UConn (3-2) .294-.212 and had eight fewer attack errors (16-24). The Owls also had three more blocks (11-8) than the Huskies and two fewer service errors (7-9). Leah Mikesky
(13 kills, 12 digs) and Sara Blasier
(45 assists, 10 digs) each registered double-doubles for a third consecutive match. Chelsey Harris
(13 kills) and Jillian Humphrey
(10 kills) also posted double-digit kills while Vaio led the Owls with 16 digs.
It was the Huskies who came out strong to start the morning, hitting .417 in the opening set en route to a start-to-finish, 25-21 win over Rice. The Owls still hit a solid .393 for the set but were unable to dig out of an early 8-2 hole.
Rice followed with their best offensive set of the match, hitting .458 (13-of-24) and winning by their biggest margin of the season, 25-12. After a 25-18 victory in the third set put the Owls in the driver's seat, UConn responded with a 25-15 victory of their own to tie the match, holding the Owls to just a .069 hitting percentage.
However, in the fifth and decisive set, Rice outscored the Huskies 8-1 after the two teams were knotted up in a 7-7 tie. The Owls held UConn to a -.043 hitting percentage in the set and had two BA.
The Owls will play one more match in the tournament when they face Toledo this afternoon at 4 p.m.