By: Kenny Bybee (email@example.com)
Rice 3-Middle Tennessee 0 (PDF)
MURFREESBORO, TN – The Rice Owls volleyball team won their sixth straight match with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-14) sweep of the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders Friday evening at Alumni Memorial Gym.
Rice (10-7, 3-0) remained perfect in Conference USA play by limiting the Blue Raiders (4-12, 1-2) to a .070 hitting percentage compared to a .341 hitting percentage by the Owls. Rice trailed on just three separate occasions throughout the match
Rice senior right side hitter Chelsey Harris led all players with 12 kills on 19 attacks (.474) while junior Shelby Livingstone added 11 kills. Junior setter Madison McDaniel earned her team-leading 12th double-double of the season with a match-high 29 assists and 12 digs. McDaniel also posted four blocks, as did freshman Grace Morgan and junior Portia Okafor.
“Tonight we had solid performances from several players,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “I thought our defense got stronger as the match went on and our serving and passing game was solid.”
Rice hit a match-high .394 in the opening set with only three attack errors. Livingstone contributed seven of her 11 kills in the first frame alone and McDaniel assisted on 14 of the Owls’ 16 kills to lead Rice to a 25-14 win.
The Owls took care of business in set two with a 25-19 victory, using an 8-4 run to close out the Blue Raiders. That setup a third set in which the Owls held MT to a .000 hitting percentage and clinched the sweep with a 25-14 victory.
The Owls will seek their seventh straight win on Saturday when they play a non-conference match at Tennessee St. in Nashville at 7 p.m.