Owls Knock-Out UTEP 3-0 in Volleyball

Mariah Riddlesprigger.

Oct. 16, 2011

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Houston - Three Owls reached double-digits in kills as Rice defeated UTEP 3-0 in a Conference USA volleyball match on Sunday inside Tudor Fieldhouse.

Leading the way was freshman Jillian Humphrey with 11 kills, while Nancy Cole and Mariah Riddlesprigger added 10 kills apiece. Riddlesprigger also added 10 digs to her credit for her fourth double-double of the season.

"We received some really good production from our outsides and that hasn't always been the case every match," said Owl head coach Genny Volpe. "Mariah Riddlesprigger just played great. She was aggressive, played great defense, and turned in an all-around solid match.

"We also did a really good job blocking and following the game plan and we wanted to touch as many balls as we could at the net. They couldn't stop our middles either and Jillian and Nancy did a fabulous job."

Set scores were 25-22, 25-23, and 25-21. The win improves Rice's overall record to 11-9 and 6-3 in C-USA, while the Miners drop to 15-7, and 5-4 in league action. The Owls have now beaten UTEP 11 straight times.

For the match, Rice hit .242 with 45 kills, of which 39 came via assists from setter Megan Murphy. UTEP hit .131 with 40 kills. Xitali Herrara was the only Miner to reach double-digits in kills with 15.

Defensively, Rice featured three Owls in double-digit digs. Senior Megan White led Rice with 18 digs and Laurie McNamara also had 10 digs.

Round One to Rice
Rice began the set by scoring the first four points that ballooned to a commanding 11-3 margin. The Owls were up 16-9, but UTEP battled back to cut the deficit to two at 20-18. It was 23-22, but Rice received a key kill by Nancy Cole and a UTEP hitting error to close out the set 25-22.

Rice hit for .308 with 16 kills to the Miners' .114 and 14 kills. Cole and Jillian Humphrey led the Owl attack with 4 kills each. UTEP's Xitali Herrera led all hitters with 7 kills. Of Rice's 16 kills, 14 were on assists by Megan Murphy.

Owls Take Two
Set two was tight from the beginning with both teams trading points to a 15-15 tie. UTEP went up 17-15, before the Owls scored the next three points for an 18-17 edge. UTEP then scored the next three points to retake the lead at 20-18. UTEP held a 23-20 lead, but the Owls rallied to score the final five points for a 25-23 win.

Rice hit for only .189 with 15 kills, but UTEP only managed a .083 hitting percentage with 10 kills. Mariah Riddlesprigger led Rice with 5 kills and Cole added 4 kills. Herrera's 3 kills led UTEP.

Third Round Knock-out
Rice jumped out to an early 3-0 and kept the pressure on UTEP to forge a 14-6 margin. From there the Owls moved forward and held a 23-17 lead, but UTEP cut it to two, but the Owls closed out the set to win 25-21.

Rice hit .227 in set three with 14 kills to UTEP's .180 (16 kills). Three Owls had 3 kills by Cole, Humphrey, and Bache. Herrera led UTEP with 5 kills.

Up Next
Rice hosts Memphis on Friday, October 21 at 7 p.m. This match is Rice's designated Dig Pink match.

The Rice Volleyball Team is excited to be a part of the Side-Out Foundation and Dig Pink campaign. Education is key to increasing awareness and knowledge about the disease. Your donation will go to the Side-Out Foundation, which in turn awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing compassionate support to breast cancer patients and their families.

Fans that attend the Dig Pink Match vs. Memphis are encouraged to wear pink, to receive a $1 discount off the price of their ticket.





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