BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Rice Owls volleyball team closed out the C-USA regular season with a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-15, 25-19) of the UAB Blazers Saturday afternoon at Bartow Arena.
Rice (21-9, 11-5) notched their 10th sweep of the season by hitting a season-best .383 (46 kills, 94 attacks, 10 errors) and limiting the Blazers (9-23, 1-15) to .196. Senior outside hitter Noelle Whitlock earned her 11th double-double of the season with a team-high 12 kills and 10 digs while sophomore setter Madison McDaniel achieved her team-leading 18th double-double of the year with 41 assists and 13 digs.
"It was a great match for us to finish the C-USA regular season," Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. "We had awesome team effort and I was particularly impressed with our hitting efficiency overall."
Rice trailed on just three occasions and outgained the Blazers in kills (46-33), hitting percentage, assists (46-28), aces (4-2), digs (52-32) and blocks (7.0-3.0).
The Owls hit .383 in the opening frame and Whitlock posted a team-best four kills to help lead Rice to a 25-17 victory. Rice never trailed in set two, opening up a 15-7 lead before winning 25-15. The sweep was completed with the Owls hitting a day's best .560 in the final frame. Whitlock recorded another six kills in the set en route to the 25-19 match-sealing victory.
The Owls earned the No. 3 seed in the C-USA Championship and will face No. 6 Southern Miss (23-10, 10-6) in the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 20 in San Antonio at 2 p.m. on the C-USA Digital Network. Rice defeated Southern Miss in the only meeting this season, a 3-0 sweep of the Golden Eagles back on Oct. 29 at Tudor Fieldhouse.