April 19, 2013
Rice's volleyball team wrapped up its strong spring season last week, posting an 7-4-1 record against outside competition in three tournaments. The Owls won 18 sets in the spring, and only dropped 10.
The Owls posted notable wins over LSU, TCU and C-USA rival UTSA, and took defending national champion Texas to a tiebreaker set. The Owls performance excites head coach Genny Volpe, who expects big things from the team in the fall.
"I think that the basics, passing and serving, are going to be key to the success of this team. We have a lot of versatility, a lot of talent. I think the depth and competitiveness that we're going to have in the fall is really exciting," said Volpe.
The squad focused on improving their serving, which was the only statistical category that the Owls did not rank in the top 4 of C-USA last season.
"We really focused on our serving," said Volpe. "We reflected on the fall, and realized that our serving was pretty average. We're trying to serve tougher, more aggresively and without fear. Our serving really stands out as the most improved skill for the spring."
"Whitlock had an outstanding spring," remarked Volpe. "she improved physically, she's hitting the ball harder, more aggressively. She showed that she has the most shots of anyone on our team."
"We moved Lizzy to the middle this spring, and she flourished. She did a great job, and her hitting percentage was up with [departing senior] Nancy Cole's," added Volpe.
"Daniela Arenas and Kimberly Vaio both proved that they can handle the libero position and do it well. Daniela consistently passed better than she's ever passed before, and her digs were very accurate. Kimberly is a play-maker. She can play any of the back row positions without thinking twice."
While C-USA Setter of the Year Megan Murphy returns for her senior season in 2013, the spring was the first time redshirt freshman setter Sara Blasier faced outside competition while at Rice, in what looks to be a position of strength for the Owls in 2013.
"Our setting position is going to be extremely strong. Megan Murphy has proven herself, and I think her senior year is going to be her best," said Volpe "Sarah was amazing. It's hard to redshirt, and sit the entire fall and not compete. She's got that left hand and an ability to be very deceptive, and can attack the second ball. She's really offensive, and adds a different dimension."
Despite winning matches against teams from the Big 12, SEC and Conference USA, a narrow defeat by the national champions stands out as Rice's best fight in the spring.
"The Texas match the first weekend was the best overall performance from the team, even though we lost," said Volpe. "That was a good feeling for the team. They came off the court knowing they can block players hitting at a very high angle, we did some really nice blocking moves against them, and athletically, we were right with them. They'll remember that when we play some more ranked teams this fall."
|Mar. 23||Texas A&M-Corpus Christi||W, 2-0|
|Mar. 23||TCU||W, 2-1|
|Mar. 23||Baylor||L, 1-2|
|Mar. 23||Texas||L, 1-2|
|Apr. 6||Texas A&M||L, 0-2|
|Apr. 6||UTSA||W, 2-0|
|Apr. 6||Texas State||T, 1-1|
|Apr. 6||Stephen F. Austin||W, 2-0|
|Apr. 13||Blinn||W, 2-0|
|Apr. 13||UL Lafayette||L, 1-2|
|Apr. 13||LSU||W, 2-0|
|Apr. 13||Sam Houston||W, 2-0|
Owls Win In Five Sets On Senior Night
11/12/2015 - Madison McDaniel, Leah Mikesky and Noelle Whitlock all posted double-doubles to help the Rice Owls volleyball team secure the team’s 20th win...
Volleyball Set to Host UTEP on Senior Day
11/11/2015 - The Rice Owls volleyball team closes out the 2015 C-USA season this week with a pair of matches, beginning Thursday at Tudor Fieldhouse vs. UTEP on...
Volleyball Announces Three Signings
11/11/2015 - Rice volleyball head coach Genny Volpe announced the signing of three student-athletes on Wednesday to enroll in school and join the Owls in 2016.
Owls Take Down Herd in Three Sets
11/08/2015 - The Rice Owls volleyball team recorded their ninth sweep of the season with a straight sets (25-17, 25-19, 25-20) victory at Marshall Sunday...
Mikesky Named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Team
11/05/2015 - Rice junior outside hitter Leah Mikesky was named to the District 15 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team, the organization announced on Thursday.
Roadrunners Defeat Owls in Four Sets
11/04/2015 - Despite double-doubles from Madison McDaniel and Leah Mikesky, the Rice Owls volleyball team was unable to find a rhythm offensively in a four set ...
Owls Travel to UTSA Wednesday, Marshall on Sunday
11/03/2015 - The Rice Owls volleyball squad begins the final stretch of four matches in the regular season starting this Wednesday (6 p.m.) in San Antonio...
McDaniel Named National Player of the Week
11/03/2015 - Rice sophomore Madison McDaniel added to her list of 2015 accolades by being named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week, ...
- Top Videos /
- Online Store