Nov. 6, 2011
Houston - Rice junior middle blocker Nancy Cole dominated play at the net with 15 kills and a .636 hitting percentage to lead the Owls to another 3-0 win over East Carolina in Conference USA volleyball action Sunday inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
Set scores were 25-10, 25-18, and 25-19. The Owls (15-11, 10-5) defeated ECU (2-22, 0-15) 3-0 Saturday night as well.
For Cole, it was her 21st match this season and 45th in her career to reach double-digit kills.
"Nancy Cole has been a dominating middle blocker all year and she had really good numbers today once again," said Rice head coach Genny Volpe.
Also in double-digit kills for the Owls was freshman middle blocker Jillian Humphrey. Humphrey had 12 kills in 18 attack for a .611 hitting percentage. Mariah Riddlesprigger tallied 8 kills with 11 digs and Lizzy Bache was also credited with 8 kills.
Owl setter Megan Murphy directed another balanced attack with 36 assists and 13 digs for her team leading 11th double-double of the season. For the match, Rice hit .373 with 54 kills and only 10 errors in 118 attacks.
Whitney Campbell led ECU with 12 kills in 25 attacks for a .440 hitting percentage. The Pirates had 32 kills on the day for a .181 hitting percentage.
"The team did a really good job and ECU hustled and we had a hard time with Whitney Campbell, but our team just put in an overall strong performance," stated Volpe. "Our passing was solid and our serving was really strong."
Rice Controls Set One
The Owls began the match with a 4-1 lead and did not let up on the pedal as they surged ahead for 20-6 margin. Rice then closed out the set to win 25-10.
Rice smashed 20 kills with no errors in 31 attacks for a phenomenal .645 hitting percentage. Nancy Cole and Lizzy Bache led the Owl attack with 6 kills apiece. The Pirates had 7 kills, with 4 of them by Kelly Derby, for a .208 hitting percentage.
The score was tied at 9-9 when the Owls went on a 4-0 run that was ignited by a Mariah Riddlesprigger kill to take a 13-9 lead. From that point, Rice outscored ECU 12 to 9 to capture set two 25-18.
The Owls tallied 17 kills and a .256 hitting percentage to the Pirates' 12 kills and .158 hitting percentage. Cole and Riddlesprigger led the Owl attack with 4 kills apiece. East Carolina's Whitney Campbell had 5 kills and Britney Roper added 4 kills.
Much like set two, set three saw the Owls stretch an 8-7 lead to 12-9 with strong play at the net. Rice finished the set on a 13-10 run for the 25-19 victory with 17 kills and a .295 hitting percentage. Jillian Humphrey and Cole were a force with 6 and 5 kills respectively for the Owls.
ECU tallied 13 kills and a .186 attack percentage. Campbell once again was solid with 6 kills in 10 attacks (.600).
Final Two Home Matches
Rice hosts its final two home matches of the season next weekend. The Owls host Tulsa on Friday, November 11 at 7 p.m. and SMU on Sunday, November 13 at 2 p.m. The SMU contest will be the final home match for seniors Megan White and Jordan Meredith.