Owls Set to Open 2017 Season on Friday

Aug. 24, 2017

Match 1-4 Notes (SMU Doubletree Invitational/@TCU)
 Rice vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Date Friday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. (CT)
Location Dallas, Texas | Moody Coliseum
Live Stats
Sidearm Stats
TV/Video None
Rice at SMU
Date Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. (CT)
Location Dallas, Texas | Moody Coliseum
Live Stats
Sidearm Stats
TV/Video PonyUp TV (Free)
 Rice vs. Mississippi St.
Date Saturday, Aug. 26 at 12 p.m. (CT)
Location Dallas, Texas | Moody Coliseum
Live Stats
Sidearm Stats
TV/Video None
 Rice at TCU
Date Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. (CT)
Location Fort Worth, Texas | TCU University Recreation Center
Live Stats
GameTracker
TV/Video FrogVision ($)

Weekend Notes
*The Owls open the 2017 season this weekend with four matches in the DFW area, beginning on Friday (10 a.m.) versus Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the first of three matches at the SMU Doubletree Invitational. Rice is 3-1 all-time vs. the Islanders, including a 3-1 victory last season at Rice. The Owls will then face host SMU on Friday evening, who Rice is 23-11 against all-time. Rice will conclude the tournament on Saturday (12 p.m.) in their first meeting with Mississippi St. The Owls conclude their weekend road trip on Sunday when they travel to Fort Worth to face TCU for the first meeting between the two schools since 2009.

*After going 20-12 last season and advancing to the C-USA Championship match, the Owls were picked to finish second according to a poll of the league’s head coaches. WKU was picked to repeat as C-USA champions.

*Rice is 18-19 all-time in season openers.

*The Owls return five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s team and will be incorporating four newcomers.

*Rice senior setter Madison McDaniel and senior middle blocker Portia Okafor were each named to the 2017 Preseason All-Conference USA Team. McDaniel earned a spot on the C-USA First Team in 2016 while Okafor was a Second Team selection.

*Rice head coach Genny Volpe is in her 14th season at the helm for the Owls and is the all-time wins leader (241) in school history. Under Volpe’s guidance the Owls have won 20 or more matches in three consecutive seasons and six times overall.

*Okafor enters the season with the highest hitting percentage (.333) in school history and is 10th in total blocks (352), just four away from passing former Owl Suzanne Zarkrzewski, 1986-89 (355). Okafor led all of C-USA last season in blocks per set (1.28) and was second in total blocks (136).

*McDaniel ranks eighth in Rice history with 2,311 career assists and is fifth in assists per set (10.80). Last season McDaniel ranked 14th in the nation in assists per set (10.80) and led all of C-USA in total assists (1,291).

*The Owls 2017 signing class earned "Highest Honorable Mention" accolades from PrepVolleyball.com in May. Rice's class, which consists of Nicole Lennon, Seyvion Waggoner, Lauren Lee and Kassidy Muse, ranked among the top 55 in the nation. 

*As a team, Rice led the league last year in total digs (1,938), total attacks (4,375) and total blocks (309.5).


 

 

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