Rice 3-Marshall 2 (PDF Box Score)
HUNTINGTON, WV – The Rice Owls volleyball won their fifth consecutive match with a five-set victory (25-23, 25-21, 15-25, 14-25, 15-11) at Marshall Friday evening.
Rice (15-5, 5-1) improved to 5-1 on the season in five sets and clinched the victory by hitting a match-high .571 in the deciding fifth frame. The Owls took a 2-0 match lead before Marshall (7-14, 2-4) came roaring back with consecutive victories to even the match. However, Rice led from start to finish in set five and Grace Morgan and Nicole Lennon combined for nine kills to seal the win.
“We survived a tough match tonight,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “We put ourselves in a jam in sets three and four by not taking care of the ball. It was sloppy for sure, but we executed our best volleyball in set five. We started looking more like Rice volleyball. We will keep working on that consistency but we are all feeling fortunate with the outcome.”
Morgan (.441%) and Lennon (.208%) each finished tied for the team lead with 18 kills apiece. Senior setter Madison McDaniel, the reigning C-USA Setter of the Week, just missed a double-double with 44 assists and eight digs. Sophomore libero Lee Ann Cunningham (17 digs) and junior Julianna Dole (14 digs) led the defensive charge.
The Owls won despite being outhit .223-.211 thanks in part to Marshall posting three more errors (25-22). Marshall’s Madison Hill led all players with 19 kills in the loss.
Rice, who won five straight matches earlier in the season, will look to run their win streak to six straight on Sunday when they travel to UAB for a 1 p.m. match.