FAU 3-Rice 2 (PDF Box Score)
BOCA RATON, FL – The Rice Owls volleyball squad saw their season-long eight match win streak come to an end Tuesday afternoon with a five-set loss (25-14, 24-26, 25-18, 18-25, 10-15) at the Florida Atlantic Owls.
Rice (12-8, 4-1) suffered their first loss since Sept. 14 and dropped their first road match since Sept. 3. The Owls held a 2-1 match lead but Florida Atlantic (9-10, 4-1) rallied to win the final two frames for their fourth consecutive win overall.
Andi Bawcum, Chelsey Harris and Leah Mikesky all led the Owls with 13 kills apiece in the loss while setter Madison McDaniel picked up her 14th double-double of the season with 49 assists and 13 digs. Defensively, freshman libero Lee Ann Cunningham led all players with 20 digs, her seventh such performance of the season.
“Overall we struggled to find a consistent rhythm today,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “FAU played extremely well and challenged us to adjust to them. Our offense was dominant in the first set and at times throughout the match. But in set two we didn’t put it away and extended the match that gave FAU confidence and then it became a tough battle. We need to move on quickly with a hot Marshall team coming in on Friday.”
Rice outhit FAU for the match (.258-.169) but over the final two sets FAU hit .271 and .455.
The Owls return home this weekend for a pair of matches, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. against a Herd team (14-5, 3-1) that has won three of their last four matches. Rice will then host UAB at 1 p.m. on Sunday.