Nov. 2, 2012
HOUSTON- The Rice volleyball team swept Southern Miss in Tudor Fieldhouse Friday night. Jillian Humphrey had 13 kills and eight blocks for the Owls. Rice has won 12 of its last 15 matches.
"I was very happy with the focus of the team tonight," said Rice Head Coach Genny Volpe. "We have talk a lot about what we need to bring to the gym both in practice and matches in terms of focus and bouncing back quickly after mistakes."
"I think collectively as a team, we played really well," added Volpe. "Southern Miss served us tough and we responded. They challenged us in other areas and we responded to those."
"The comeback in set two was fun to see; fearless play and strong serving really played a big part," said Volpe.
Rice improves to 17-10 on the season and 10-3 in C-USA play, staying within striking of Conference USA leader Tulsa with three matches left in the season. Southern Miss falls to 8-17, and 4-9 in league play.
The Owls have won at least ten conference matches in each of the past five seasons.
Nancy Cole led the Owls with 14 kills off .522 hitting (14K-2E-23TA). Cole has reached double figures in kills in 11 consecutive matches and 22 times this season. She needs one more kill to tie Leigh Leman for 10th all-time at Rice in career kills.
Humphrey posted 13 kills, reaching double figures for the fourth time in the past five matches. She posted eight blocks, her fourth 8+ block match, and the second-most blocks for a C-USA player in a three-set match this year.
Megan Murphy posted her 12th double-double of the season, adding 38 assists to her C-USA-leading total, and 11 digs. She has 30+ assists in 15 straight matches, including every C-USA match this season.
Noelle Whitlock led the Owls with 12 digs, posting double digit digs for the seventh straight match. Mariah Riddlesprigger reached double figures for the sixth straight match with 11 digs, and Daniela Arenas matched that total, reaching double figures for the sixth game in a row herself.
Rice took the first set 25-18, led by five Humphrey kills.
The Owls took the second set 25-23, going on an 11-4 run to rally back from a 19-14 deficit in a set that included 11 tie scores and five lead changes.
Rice dominated the third set, holding the Golden Eagles to -.054 hitting to win the set 25-14.