Volleyball Falls To North Texas In Straight Sets
Nov. 7, 2014
HOUSTON, Texas - The Rice Owls volleyball team lost at home for the first time during Conference USA play, falling in straight sets (28-30, 19-25, 20-25) to the North Texas Mean Green Friday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse.
The loss snapped a four-game win streak for Rice (20-7, 10-3) while North Texas (18-9, 9-5) won their sixth consecutive match. It marked just the second time this season that the Owls lost in straight sets, dating back to their 3-0 loss at home to Louisville on Sept. 19.
"To sum it up, we were off today and North Texas was on," Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. "They played a smarter game than us. We didn't make defensive plays that we typically do and we certainly were not disciplined in our game plan. It's disappointing that we played the way we did tonight but North Texas saw the window of opportunity and took it. We will definitely use this loss as fuel to improve."
The Owls hit just .188 for the match while the Mean Green hit .339. Senior middle blocker Jillian Humphrey led all Owls with 13 kills while sophomore outside hitter Leah Mikesky chipped in 10. Sophomore setter Sara Blasier returned to the starting lineup and had 35 assists while senior Daniela Arena led the defense with 17 digs.
The Mean Green was led by Carnae Dillard, who led all players with 23 kills on 62 attacks.
North Texas rallied to defeat the Owls, 30-28, after Rice held a 23-20 lead in the opening set. Rice still had three opportunities at set point but the Mean Green answered each time. Dillard then won the set for North Texas with back-to-back kills after the score was tied, 28-28. The Owls hit a respectable .296 for the set but the Mean Green hit .320 (21-of-50). Humphrey led all Owls with seven kills and Blasier returned to the starting lineup with 16 assists.
Rice fell to the Mean Green, 25-19 in the second set despite three kills apiece from Bawcum, Humphrey and Mikesky. However, the Owls hit just .077 for the set compared to .366 for the Mean Green. The Owls pulled to within 18-16 following an ace from Blasier, however North Texas closed on a 7-3 run to go up 2-0 on the Owls.
North Texas took the final set, 25-20, despite the Owls making a late comeback after trailing 22-13.
Rice returns to action on Sunday when they host Louisiana Tech at Tudor Fieldhouse at 1 p.m.