Oct. 27, 2013
HOUSTON – Three Owls finished in double-figures in kills and Sara Blasier recorded 51 assists but it was the North Texas Mean Green volleyball team that came away victorious Sunday afternoon, defeating the Owls 3-1, 22-25, 25-23, 26-28 and 25-18.
The loss snapped Rice’s (6-17, 3-6) three-game home win streak and was their third defeat in a row overall. North Texas (13-12, 5-4) defeated the Owls for just the second time in nine attempts and for the first time since 1997.
Jillian Humphrey led the Owls with 14 kills followed by 13 a piece from Chelsey Harris and Noelle Whitlock. Four Owls also finished in double-figures in digs, led by 21 from Daniela Arenas. As a team the Owls finished with a hitting percentage of .238.
In set one the Owls never regained the lead after taking a 13-12 advantage. After six ties early on, North Texas closed the set by outscoring Rice 13-9 and by hitting .350 as a team. Harris had five kills for the Owls while Blasier finished with nine assists.
The Rice defense stepped up in set two, limiting the Mean Green to just a .171 attack percentage en route to a 25-23 victory. The Owls took the lead for good at 19-18 following a North Texas attack error. Humphrey then closed the match with three of the final four Owls’ kills.
In set three the lead changed three four times but it was Rice who scored the final two points following a 26-26 tie to take a 2-1 match lead with a 28-26 victory. The Owls had a match-low hitting percentage of .217. Rice managed to tie the fourth and final set on six different occasions but North Texas eventually pulled away.
The Owls will next embark on a three-game road trip, beginning with Florida Atlantic on Friday, Nov. 1 followed by a Sunday afternoon match at FIU on Nov. 3.