July 31, 2013
Rice's volleyball team was picked as the preseason favorite to win Conference USA, according to a poll of the league's head coaches released Wednesday. The Owls are the preseason favorite for the first time since 2005.
Rice, coming off of a 19-12 season and their second straight second place finish in C-USA, received three first place votes and 200 total points in the poll. Tulsa and UTSA tied for second place with 192 points apiece.
Conference USA additionally released its Preseason All-Conference USA squads Wednesday afternoon, with Megan Murphy and Jillian Humphrey earning spots on the team.
Murphy returns to the Preseason All-C-USA team after earning C-USA Setter of the Year and First Team All-Conference USA honors in 2012. She was an AVCA All-America selection for the second straight year and earned C-USA Setter of the Week honors five times last season.
Humphrey was a Second Team All-C-USA selection in 2012 and earns her first Preseason All-C-USA honor. She ranked second in C-USA last season with 1.18 blocks per set and ranked ninth on Rice's single-season blocks list.
Rice attempts to back up its preseason ranking as the top school in C-USA when their regular season begins on Aug. 30 at Fresno State. C-USA play begins Sept. 27 against Middle Tennessee.