By Kenny Bybee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
IRVING, Texas – Following a 23-10 campaign in 2014 and a trip to the Conference USA title game, the Rice Owls volleyball team was picked to finish third in the league this season, according to a poll of the league’s head coaches released on Thursday.
Rice’s 23 wins last year were the fifth most in school history and they return 11 members for 2015.
The reigning 2014 C-USA champ WKU was tabbed as the league favorite followed by UTSA. Predicted to finish behind Rice are North Texas, Florida Atlantic, Southern Miss, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, FIU, Charlotte, UTEP, UAB and Louisiana Tech in that order.
C-USA additionally released its Preseason All-Conference USA Team, which included Rice’s Chelsey Harris and Leah Mikesky, each of whom were named to the 2014 C-USA All-Conference Second-Team.
Harris ranked second on the Owls in kills (340) and kills per set (3.09) and earned a spot on the C-USA All-Tournament Team while Mikesky earned the Team MVP (Hally Beth Poindexter Award) with 16 double-doubles and leading the Owls in kills (407), kills per set (3.42) and points (454.5).
The Owls home opener is slated for Sept. 1 when they host Lamar. Season/single game tickets are currently on sale at the Rice Athletic Ticket Office at Tudor Fieldhouse, by phone at (713) 348-6957 or at RiceOwls.com.