Cal 3-Rice 1 (PDF Box Score)
HOUSTON – A furious late comeback attempt by the Rice Owls volleyball team came up just short in a 3-1 loss (20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 27-29) to California Friday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (5-4) hit just .191 for the match while Cal (7-1) won their seventh straight match by hitting .270.
Freshmen Seyvion Waggoner (14 kills) and Nicole Lennon (12 kills) led the Owls on the offensive end while senior setter Madison McDaniel just missed out on a double-double with 44 assists and nine digs. Junior McKay Kyle and sophomore Grace Morgan each totaled six blocks apiece in the loss, part of a 13.0 team blocks performance by the Owls.
After dropping the opening set 25-20, Rice evened the match with a 25-20 victory of their own in set two, largely due to the defensive performance and limiting the Bears to a match-low .028 hitting percentage. The two teams played to 11 ties and five lead changes in set three before Cal prevailed 25-19.
In the fourth and final set the Owl rallied from a 20-17 deficit to take a 23-21 lead but Cal answered with consecutive points to tie at 23-23. Rice then had two set points but were staved off by Cal, only to see the two teams flip roles with the Owls holding off match points. However, consecutive points from the Bears broke a 27-27 tie to end the match.
The Owls will conclude the Rice Adidas Invitational I tomorrow afternoon when they host Incarnate Word at 4 p.m.