No. 21 WKU 3-Rice 0
BOWLING GREEN, KY – The Rice Owls volleyball team suffered just their third straight sets loss of the season with a 3-0 setback (25-12, 25-20, 25-18) at No. 21 WKU Friday evening.
In a battle of the top two teams in the Conference USA standings, Rice (17-10, 9-3) was outhit by WKU .371-.183 and three Lady Toppers registered 10 or more kills. WKU (25-2, 12-0) clinched the C-USA regular season title behind a match-high 13 kills from both Alyssa Cavanaugh and Taylor Dellinger. The victory was WKU’s 16th straight overall and 12th straight at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Rice was led offensively by senior right side hitter Chelsey Harris, who posted a team-high 11 kills (.391) while junior setter Madison McDaniel achieved her 17th double-double of the year with 26 assists and 10 digs.
“We didn’t execute our game plan well until the second set and at that point WKU was in a serious rhythm,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “We needed more offensive success to match theirs and it never happened. We will move forward to Southern Miss on Sunday, another solid team. I’m sure the team is glad we play quickly to get another chance to redeem ourselves.”
WKU never trailed over the first two sets, recording 25-12 and 25-20 victories. In the third set Rice managed to stay close to the Lady Toppers in the early stages. Rice trailed just 21-18 late but a 4-0 run by WKU gave the Lady Toppers the match-clinching 25-18 victory.
The Owls will play their final regular season road contest on Sunday when they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. to face Southern Miss at 12 p.m. (CT).