By: Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
No. 24 USC 3-Rice 1 (PDF)
HOUSTON – On a night where Leah Mikesky became the 16th member of the 1,000 career kills club, the Rice Owls gave the No. 24 USC Trojans quite the fight but ultimately fell short in a 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-12, 25-23) loss Saturday evening in the finale of the Rice Adidas Invite I tournament.
After dropping the opening set 25-18, the Owls rallied back to take the second set 25-21. USC came out of intermission and put the clamps on the Rice offensive attack en route to a 25-12 victory. The Owls looked primed to force a fifth set for the second time on Saturday after trimming a big USC lead to 23-22, but the Trojans were able to close out the game 25-23.
Mikesky picked up her third consecutive double-double with 17 kills and 12 digs and notched the historic 1,000th career kill in Rice’s second set victory. Rice freshman libero Lee Ann Cunningham was selected afterwards to the Rice Adidas Invite I All-Tournament team following another 20-plus digs performance. The Louisville, Ky. native posted a team-best 24 digs Saturday evening and had 54 total digs in three matches this weekend.
The Owls also got 15 kills from senior Chelsey Harris along with 10 kills from junior middle blocker Portia Okafor.
USC (6-3) outhit Rice .306 to .147 for the match and posted 14.0 team blocks. The Trojans had four players with 10 or more kills, including a team-high 17 from All-Tournament selectee Khalia Lanier.
Rice will continue its nine match homestand on Wednesday, Sept. 14 when they host the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 7 p.m.
Rice Adidas Invite I All-Tournament Team
MVP- Elise Ruddins USC
Khalia Lanier- USC
Brittany Abercrombie- USC
Breanna Homer – SHSU
Amanda Gooch – SHSU
Lee Ann Cunningham – Rice
Sammy Condon – Oakland