HOUSTON – The Rice Owls volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win their seventh straight home match with a 3-2 victory (23-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22, 15-4) over the Florida Atlantic Owls Friday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
“That was a very hard-fought match tonight,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “I thought FAU played really well, as we expected. They’re a very strong offensive team and defensively they made some great plays. We have a lot of respect for that team. We’re definitely feeling very fortunate to be able to come out with a victory.”
Rice (13-5, 3-1) recorded a season-high 19.0 team blocks in the victory and three Owls recorded 10 or more kills, led by a team-high 16 from sophomore middle blocker Grace Morgan. The Crowley, La. Native hit a staggering .615 (16-of-26) for the match and also totaled eight blocks for a team-high 21.0 points.
Freshman outside hitter Nicole Lennon picked up her team-leading ninth double-double (14 kills, 15 digs) of the season while senior setter Madison McDaniel achieved her fourth double-double (50 assists, 12 digs) of the year.
Freshman outside hitter Seyvion Waggoner (14 kills, 8 digs) and senior middle blocker Portia Okafor (9 kills, 10 blocks) also nearly missed out on double-doubles.
FAU (10-6, 1-3) was led offensively by Sigourney Kame (28 kills) and Abbi Reid (19 kills).
Rice dominated the fifth and deciding set, one in which they never trailed and hit .417 while holding FAU to a -.222 hitting percentage. The Owls forced the fifth set by hitting a match-best .429 in set four and trailed only once (0-1).
Next up for Rice will be a Sunday afternoon match at 1 p.m. against the FIU Panthers (2-8, 1-3) from Tudor Fieldhouse.