HOUSTON - The Rice Owls volleyball earned their first sweep of the season with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-20) victory over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on the opening day of the Rice Adidas Invitational Friday at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice (6-2) picked up their third consecutive victory behind double-doubles from setter Madison McDaniel (39 assists, 10 digs) and outside hitter Leah Mikesky (14 kills, 12 digs). The double-double from McDaniel was her team-leading sixth of the season and fifth in as many matches while Mikesky notched her fifth double-double of the year.
Junior opposite hitter Chelsey Harris chipped in nine kills for the Owls while freshman middle blocker McKay Kyle fell just shy of double-digit kills with nine as well.
The Ragin' Cajuns (3-6) were limited to just a .089 hitting percentage with 18 errors while the Owls hits .245 as a team and won the kills battle, 48-27.
Rice led nearly start to finish in the opening set thanks to a team hitting percentage of .351. The Owls ran away from the Ragin' Cajuns by outscoring their opponent 17-11 down the stretch, separating from an 8-6 advantage thanks to five kills from Harris.
Louisiana hung tough with the Owls through much of the second set but a late 5-2 run by the Owls proved to be the difference in a 25-22 victory. The Owls hit just .189 for the set but still managed to hold the Ragin' Cajuns to a .206 clip.
Rice saved their best defensive set for last as Louisiana hit -.029 and had nine attacking errors en route to a 25-20 Owls' victory.
The Owls are scheduled for a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 10:30 a.m. against Sam Houston State, followed by the nightcap at 7 p.m. in a showdown against No. 23 Colorado.