UTEP 3-Rice 2 (PDF Box Score)
EL PASO, Texas - The Rice Owls volleyball team saw their season-high five match win streak come to an end Friday evening with a five set loss (26-28, 25-16, 22-25, 25-19, 14-16) at the UTEP Miners in the Conference USA opener.
Rice (10-5, 0-1) fell to 3-1 in five-set matches this season despite a career performance from sophomore middle blocker Grace Morgan, who established a personal best with 21 kills on 35 attacks (.571). In addition, sophomore setter Adria Martinez recorded her fourth straight double-double (58 assists, 13 digs) while Nicole Lennon also notched a double-double (16 kills, 18 digs). Freshman outside hitter Kassidy Muse had a breakout performance for the Owls with a season-high 14 kills on 30 attempts (.433). Sophomore libero Lee Ann Cunningham led all Owls with 19 digs in the loss.
The Owls outhit the Miners (4-10, 1-0) by a margin of .283-.228 and had a better sideout rate (58 percent-53 percent). Macey Austin led Miners with a Rice opponents season-high 27 kills on 65 attacks.
In the fifth and deciding set the Owls held a 13-11 advantage but the Miners rallied to knot the score at 13-13 and then broke a 14-14 tie with an Austin kill and a Rice attack error.
Rice will be back in action Sunday afternoon when they travel to Louisiana Tech to face the Lady Techsters at 1 p.m.