Sept. 17, 2011
Nacogdoches, Texas - The Rice Owls volleyball squad swept Stephen F. Austin State 3-0 to close out play at Chilly Fillmore's SFA Invitational Saturday night.
Rice won 25-23, 25-15, and 25-18 to capture its second-straight match and improve its season record to 5-6. SFA is now 6-8.
"Our goal was to finish the tournament strong and we did just that," commented Owl head coach Genny Volpe. "We will improve with every practice and every match we play from this day forward."
The trio of junior Nancy Cole, junior Laurie McNamara, and freshman Lizzy Bache led Rice's strong finish. Each tallied a match-high 9 kills, with Bache posting a match and career-high .750 hitting percentage (9-0-12). Bache's previous best was .455 vs. Houston Baptist (Sept. 2).
The Owl all-tournament selections, setter Megan Murphy and libéro Megan White, proved their mettle Saturday night. Murphy directed the Rice offense to record 36 assists of the team's 41 kills, while White collected a match-high 15 digs.
Rice's defense limited SFA to only 29 kills and a paltry .080 hitting percentage. Owl freshman Jillian Humphrey was a force at the net with a block solo and 5 block assists, while McNamara contributed 4 block assists as well.
Mary Caitlin Bottles was Stephen F. Austin's top hitter with 8 kills.
Conference USA action starts up on Tuesday, September 20 as the Rice Owls host Houston (7-3). Match time is 7 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.