Oct. 6, 2013
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Despite 12 blocks, a season-high .305 team hitting percentage and 15 kills by Chelsey Harris, Rice University volleyball fell in five tightly-contested sets at Southern Miss on Sunday, 25-22, 18-25, 20-25, 25-23 and 15-8.
After a three-point loss in the opener, the Owls won the second and third stanzas to gain an advantage before the home team knotted the match with a narrow win in the fourth set and went on to take the fifth with nine kills and just one error in the final frame.
Harris led the offense with a .464 hitting mark as the freshman knocked down her 15 kills with just two errors in 28 attempts. Three other Owls (4-14, 1-3 C-USA) notched double-figure kills, led by 14 each from Jillian Humphrey and Tyler Jenkins as well as 12 by Lizzy Bache.
Humphrey was also quite active at the net on defense, swatting four solo blocks and assisting on four more as Rice knocked down 12 in total. Bache added four blocks of her own.
Sara Blasier came off the bench to record 52 assists on Rice’s 69 kills. The freshman added eight digs, three blocks and a pair of kills.
Sunday’s match featured 24 tie scores and 11 lead changes. The Golden Eagles (10-8, 1-2) hit .255 in the match with 54 digs, seven blocks and five service aces. Quinci Hayward tallied a match-high 22 kills on 49 swings, while Mary Purcell dug 23 passes for USM.
Rice returns home next weekend for a pair of matches. The Owls host Marshall on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. and Charlotte on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at Tudor Fieldhouse.
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