Texas St. 3-Rice 0 (PDF Box Score)
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The Rice Owls volleyball team fell in three sets (21-25, 21-25, 20-25) to the Texas State Bobcats in the opening round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) Thursday evening.
Rice (21-9), who was participating in their first postseason tournament since 2009, was led offensively by freshman outside hitter Nicole Lennon (nine kills) and junior middle blocker McKay Kyle (six kills). Senior setter Madison McDaniel recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 28 assists and 11 digs in her final match as an Owl.
Texas State (25-9) outhit the Owls .226-.127 and outgained Rice in digs (84-69), kills (51-34) and blocks (6.0-4.0). Jaliyah Boldin led all players with 19 kills (.548) while Megan Porter added an additional 12 kills (.263).
In addition to McDaniel, the match marked the end of the careers of seniors Portia Okafor, Stephanie Mendivil and Julianna Dole.
“We really couldn’t get our offense going tonight,” Rice head coach Genny Volpe said. “Texas State played very sharp and executed at a higher level today. I want to thank our seniors Madison, Stephanie, Portia, and Julianna for all they have done for our program. They are such talented individuals who gave so much to us. We will miss them and appreciate their dedication and commitment to Rice volleyball.”
The two teams played to 10 ties in the opening set but the Bobcats used a late 5-2 run to pull away and win 25-21.
In set two, Rice fell behind 7-3 but used a furious 13-6 run to take a 16-13 advantage following a kill from McKay Kyle. However, the Bobcats closed the set by outscoring the Owls 12-5 to win 25-21 and take a 2-0 match lead.
The Owls trailed for much of set three and closed to within 21-19 but the Bobcats offense was too much in a 25-20 match-sealing loss.