Volleyball Wins Battle of the Owls
Nov. 2, 2014
BOCA Raton, Fla. - The Rice Owls volleyball team secured their first 20-win season since the 2009 campaign with a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) of the Florida Atlantic Owls Sunday afternoon at the FAU Arena.
Rice (20-6, 10-2) recorded their 13th sweep of the season with a balanced offensive attack and limiting FAU (17-9, 8-5) to just a .200 hitting percentage.
"I'm really proud of this team as Sunday matches on the road have been tough for us," Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. "We came out with a clear focus on what we wanted to accomplish today and did it. Portia (Okafor) was key defensively and Jillian (Humphrey) continues to show her ability to dominate the net. Plus, we had another big performance from Chelsey (Harris). We will enjoy this win but get refocused for next weekend pretty quickly."
Five Rice Owls registered seven or more kills, led by a game-high 13 from Harris (.611, 13-of-18). Humphrey also recorded double-digit kills with 10 while hitting .412 for the match. Okafor had a solid all-around game with seven kills and seven blocks. Freshman setter Katie Steel orchestrated the Owls offense with 39 more assists (13 per set) while senior Daniela Arenas had a team-high 11 digs.
The Rice Owls reached the 20-win plateau for the 13th time in school history and the fourth time under Volpe.
Rice closed the first set on an 8-1 run to break a 17-17 tie and win 25-18, hitting a staggering .500 for the set (17-of-30). The Rice Owls defense shined in sets two and three, limiting FAU to attack percentages of .179 and .173, respectively, winning 25-21 and 27-25.
Rice returns home for a pair of matches next weekend, beginning with a 6 p.m. tilt against North Texas on Friday, Nov. 7, followed by Louisiana Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m.