Sept. 29, 2013
HOUSTON - Rice University volleyball notched its first Conference USA win of the season with a 3-0 victory against East Carolina on Sunday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Owls claimed wins of 25-15, 25-12 and 25-21 in its third three-set sweep of 2013.
Jillian Humphrey pounded 15 kills in the match and notched a .500 hitting percentage with just two errors on 26 attacks. The middle blocker added four digs and three of the Owls' (4-12, 1-1 C-USA) 5.5 blocks on the day.
Chelsey Harris also reached double figures in kills for the second time in her last three matches, tallying 10 kills on 21 attempts for a .381 hitting mark.
On the back row, Kimberly Vaio led the squad with 14 digs and three other players reached double figures as Rice owned a 72-53 advantage in digs. Libero Daniela Arenas added 11 digs and three assists.
Megan Murphy notched her second double-double of the season with 37 assists and 12 digs. The setter added eight kills on 19 attempts. Mariah Riddlesprigger finished the day one dig shy of her season high with 13 digs. The outside hitter added a pair of kills and a block.
The Owls hit a season-high .279 in the match with a pair of aces while holding ECU to an .065 hitting clip with just one ace on 50 serves.
Rice started strong in the opening set and broke open a tight 8-6 contest with a run to claim a commanding 18-8 advantage. The Owls would not let off the pedal the rest of the way in a 25-15 win. The home team hit .258 in the set with 16 kills and just five miscues.
In the second set, the Owls carried over their momentum to use a 13-3 run mid-way through the stanza, thanks in part to six Humphrey kills over the stretch, to stake a 21-9 lead and cruise to a 25-12 win. It was the team's largest margin of victory in a set this season. Humphrey notched 10 kills with a .643 hitting percentage in the second set, while Whitlock added six digs in the frame.
The third set was the closest of the day, featuring five tie scores. East Carolina (7-10, 0-2) never led in the set, but tied with the Owls as late as 18-18 in the final set. From that point, Harris posted three kills to help clinch the match at 25-21.
Rice takes to the road on Friday to challenge Tulsa at 7 p.m. The Owls then conclude a two-match road trip at Southern Miss on Sunday afternoon in Hattiesburg.