Rice 3-Louisiana Tech 1 (PDF Box Score)
RUSTON, La. – Rice middle blocker Grace Morgan poured in a match-high 19 kills while hitting a staggering .552 to help lead the Owls to a 3-1 (25-21, 20-25, 30-28, 25-17) road victory at Louisiana Tech Sunday (9/24) afternoon.
“It was good to get that one in four sets,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “It was a battle and we had our struggles, but if you can win and not execute at a high level most of the match on the road, you feel fortunate. Grace carried us all weekend. She really elevated her game on a weekend where we needed someone to step up.”
The Owls (11-5, 1-1) notched their first Conference USA victory of the season by limiting Louisiana Tech (5-10, 0-1) to a .164 hitting percentage. Rice recorded 12.0 team blocks for a second straight match and the fourth time this season. Senior middle blocker Portia Okafor and freshman outside hitter Kassidy Muse each totaled six blocks apiece while Morgan added an additional four blocks.
Sophomore libero Lee Ann Cunningham led all players with 22 digs, marking the eighth time this season to over the 20-dig plateau. Julianna Dole (13 digs), Nicole Lennon (12 digs), and Adria Martinez (10 digs) all joined Cunningham with double-figure digs.
Lennon (12 kills/12 digs) and Martinez (45 assists/10 digs) each recorded double-doubles in the victory, their eighth and fifth of the season, respectively.
Morgan backed up a season-high 21 kills performance on Friday with 19 more on Sunday on just 29 swings. Joining Morgan in double-figure kills was Lennon and freshman Seyvion Waggoner (10 kills).
The Owls and Lady Techsters split the first two sets before playing an epic momentum-shifting third set. After falling to the Lady Techsters 25-20 in set two, the Owls bounced back to win 30-28 in set three after Tech held set point five times. Rice then hit a match-high .452 in set four, sealing the match with a 25-17 victory.
Rice returns to Houston next weekend when they host Middle Tennessee on Friday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. in the first C-USA home match.