HOUSTON - Setter Madison McDaniel and outside hitter Nicole Lennon each recorded double-doubles to help lead the Rice Owls volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-23, 26-24) over the FIU Panthers Sunday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Owls (14-5, 4-1) won their fourth straight match overall and eighth straight at Tudor Fieldhouse with a strong defensive performance, limiting FIU (2-9, 1-4) to a .139 hitting percentage.
"I'm glad we could hold off their late run in the third set because things can shift quickly in this game," Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. "Statistically this was not our strongest performance but sometimes you can still find a way. We just flat out competed. I'm proud of this team for closing the door in that third set."
McDaniel, who picked up her fifth double-double of the season, shined the brightest of all players on Sunday with 36 assists, 19 digs, 5 kills and 3 blocks. Lennon achieved her team-leading 10th double-double of the season with a team-leading 12 kills and 13 digs.
Sophomore middle blocker Grace Morgan continued her hot stretch of play, tying Lennon with 12 kills on 22 attacks (.409) to go along a team-best five blocks.
In set one, the two teams played to 10 ties and three lead changes before the Owls outscored FIU 14-6 down the stretch to win 25-17. Rice backed up the win by hitting a match-best .310 in set two and held off a late FIU comeback attempt for a 25-23 victory. The script was nearly identical in set three with neither team gaining much separation, before Rice broke a 24-24 tie with a kill from Seyvion Waggoner and an FIU attack error to seal a 26-24 match-clinching set.
The Owls will carry their winning streak on the road next weekend when they travel to Marshall (Oct. 13-5 p.m.) and UAB (Oct. 15-1 p.m.)