Sept. 27, 2013
HOUSTON – Late in the third set against Middle Tennessee, junior libero Daniela Arenas notched the 1,000th dig in her career, becoming just the 14th player in Rice Volleyball history to reach the mark. The Owls fell in the Conference USA opener against the league newcomer, 25-21, 25-14, 25-19.
Tyler Jenkins again led Rice on offense, tallying 12 kills with just two errors in 22 attempts for a .409 hitting percentage. Arenas accounted for nine of the team’s 27 digs, giving her exactly 1,000 in her career heading into Sunday’s home match against East Carolina.
Rice (3-12, 0-1 C-USA) hit .111 on the night with a pair of aces, while Middle Tennessee (9-5, 1-0) won its first-ever C-USA contest with a .398 hitting percentage, 14 blocks and three aces.
Rice led by as many as three points on several occasions early in the opening set before the Blue Raiders rallied to tie at 12-12. From there the teams played back and forth before the Owls regained an 18-16 advantage. The lead was short-lived as MT used a 9-3 run to close out a 25-21 win. The Owls hit .214 in the set, but the Blue Raiders knocked down 16 kills with just three errors for a .394 hitting percentage.
In the second set, the Blue Raiders kept up their momentum to jump out to a 12-7 advantage. From there, the visitors stretched the lead to 18-10 and claimed a 25-14 victory despite three kills from Jenkins.
After the intermission, Middle Tennessee hit .500 with 16 kills to just three miscues in the final stanza. The Blue Raiders staked a 14-7 advantage before playing even with the Owls the rest of the way to hold on for the 25-19 clinching victory.
MT was led by 13 kills and a pair of blocks from Jale Hervey to help her team win its fourth match in its last five outings.
Rice closes out the weekend with a Sunday match against East Carolina. First serve is set for 1 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.
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