Oct. 13, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas – Rice University volleyball swept Charlotte on Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse, 25-23, 25-15, 25-17. The Owls have won six-straight sets and pulled even in Conference USA play at 3-3, including a 3-1 home record.
Jillian Humphrey paced the Owls (6-14, 3-3 C-USA) on offense with 12 kills on 17 attempts for a .588 hitting percentage. As a team, Rice hit .270 in the match with 45 kills, while hitting into just six blocks.
Humphrey also recorded four blocks at the net and moved up on a pair of career program record lists. The junior recorded her 65th-career solo block in the third set to tie former teammate Nancy Cole for sixth all-time. The middle blocker also moved past Suzanne Zakrzewski (1986-89) for eighth in total blocks, with 358.
In the first meeting between the new Conference USA rivals, Daniela Arenas secured 12 of Rice’s 47 digs, while Noelle Whitlock added 10 of her own, in addition to eight kills, three assists and a pair of blocks.
Sara Blasier set up 35 of the Owls’ 42 assists, while notching seven kills on 11 attacks, passing eight digs and assisting on a pair of blocks. Relatively speaking, Chelsey Harris cooled off on Sunday with just seven kills and a block.
Charlotte (10-11, 0-6) jumped out to an early 8-3 lead to open the match before the Owls scored six-straight to get back in it. The teams went back-and-forth throughout the set with seven ties and three lead changes until Rice took advantage of a series of Charlotte errors to claim a 24-20 advantage. Tyler Jenkins put the exclamation point on the set with a kill to pick up a 25-23 win. The senior finished the day with six kills and a block.
The second set was a stark contrast as the Owls took control early on, mounted a 16-5 lead and never looked back en route to a 25-15 win. Rice hit .300 in the set, including four Blasier kills. Arenas knocked in two aces and the squad swatted three blocks as well.
Both teams settled down after the intermission for a closer third set, and Rice maintained a 3-5 point lead throughout until a strong run to end the match, culminating in a 25-17 triumph.
Rice returns to the road next weekend as the Owls head to UTSA on Friday for a 7 p.m. contest before taking on UTEP on Sunday at 1 p.m. CT.
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