CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - The Rice Owls volleyball squad saw their five-game win streak come to an end Tuesday evening, falling in four sets (25-14, 15-25, 19-25, 25-27) on the road at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Rice (8-3) was led offensively by junior right side hitter Chelsey Harris, who finished with a team-high 18 kills (.378). However, the combination of the Islanders' Kelsee Felux (19 kills, .302) and Ivy Baresh (15 kills), along with 19 team attack errors, proved too much to overcome.
Sophomore setter Madison McDaniel earned her eighth consecutive double-double, ninth overall this season, with 29 assists and 17 digs in the loss.
"We started out strong but when Corpus had a serious change of attitude our team got caught off guard," Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. "We had to make some adjustments and unfortunately never really got out of the hole we put ourselves in."
Rice hit just .216 for the match but still managed to limit the Islanders to just a .215 clip. The Islanders dug 89 Rice attacks, including a match-high 28 from Kate Klepetka. Rice's Leah Mikesky nearly matched Klepetka's effort with a career-high 26 digs, followed by Kimberly Vaio's 19 digs.
The Owls jumped all over the Islanders to start the match, hitting a day's-best .326 en route to a 25-14 victory. Harris had five kills alone in an opening frame in which Rice never trailed.
However the Islanders (9-3), who won their fifth straight, flipped the switch in the second set and grabbed all the momentum by knotting the match with a 25-15 victory of their own. A&M-Corpus limited the Owls to a match-low .057 hitting percentage in the set while hitting a match-high .333 of their own.
The Islanders led for a majority of the third set and although Rice cut the deficit to 20-17, Corpus outscored the Owls 5-3 the rest of the way. Rice would put up quite the fight in the fourth and final set, rallying from a 16-11 deficit to even the match on three separate occasions late. However, the Islanders secured the victory with a Rice attack error and a kill from Baresh.
The Owls will return to action this weekend when they partake in the Baylor Classic, their final tournament of the regular season. Rice will first face UNC-Greensboro on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a doubleheader against Stephen F. Austin (12:30 p.m.) and host Baylor (7 p.m.) on Saturday.