Sept. 7, 2011
The Rice Owls volleyball squad (3-2) competes at the University of Hawai'i's Verizon Volleyball Challenge this weekend. The Owls begin play on Thursday (Sept. 8) at 12 a.m. (CT) against #12 Hawai'i (5-1). On Friday, Rice plays Cincinnati (5-3) at 10 p.m. (CT), and close out the weekend with a match on Saturday vs. Pacific (6-1) at 8 p.m. (CT).
Television: OCSports (Hawai'i) - will broadcast every match EXCEPT for Saturday's contest between Rice and Pacific. Jim Leahey will be calling the play-by-play with Chris McLachlin doing color commentary.
Streaming Video: Available at www.OCSports.tv for a fee.
Radio: ESPN Radio (1420 AM) will broadcast all Hawai'i games live with Scott Robbs handling the play-by-play.
Internet Audio: http://espn1420am.com (Hawai'i games only)
Live Stats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com
Quick Look at Rice (3-2, 0-0)
The Owls are on a three-match winning streak, after defeating HBU (3-0), UTSA (3-0), and Georgia Tech (3-2) during the Rice Invitational II. This weekend marks Rice's first action away from its home confines of Tudor Fieldhouse.
Rice is led by junior middle blocker Nancy Cole's 60 kills and 3.16 kps. Cole also has a team-high .331 hitting percentage. Setter Megan Murphy sports a 11.11 assist average and Megan White leads the Owl defense with a 5.47 digs per set.
Senior Jordan Meredith will be playing in front of her hometown family and friends for the first time in her collegiate career. From Honolulu, Meredith attended Kamehameha High School before attending Boston College and transferring to Rice a year ago. She is averaging 2.00 kps with 32 kills.
Rice is 0-13 vs. Hawai'i with the last meeting in 2004, while the Owls were a member of the WAC, which Hawai'i won 3-1... The Owls are 1-0 vs. Cincinnati after winning 3-0 in 1987 and are 0-1 vs. Pacific (1-3 in 1990).
Defensive Player of the Week
Senior Megan White was named as Conference USA's Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 5.91 digs per set. She had a career-high 35 digs in the 3-2 win over Georgia Tech.
Head Coach Genny Volpe
Rice head volleyball coach Genny Volpe is in her eighth season directing the Owls' volleyball program. Volpe has an overall school and career record of 132-88. She has led the Owls to all three of their NCAA championship appearances (2004, 2008, and 2009).
Volpe came to Rice University after spending three years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Texas A&M. Prior to Texas A&M, Volpe was an assistant at SMU from 1996 to 2000. She spent the 1995 season as an assistant coach at Rice under Henry Chen.
Rice is 3-2 during in-season tournament action. Rice posted an 0-2 mark at the Rice Invitational I and went 3-0 in the Rice Invitational II.
Team C-USA Stat Ranks
Rice ranks third in C-USA in assists (13.37), fifth in hitting percentage (.249), fifth in kills (13.84), and fifth in digs (15.95).
Individual C-USA Stat Ranks
Megan White ranks second in C-USA in digs per set at 5.47. Nancy Cole ranks 10th in hitting percentage (.331) and 11th in kps (3.16). Lizzy Bache is 14th in hitting percentage at .312 and Laurie McNamara is 19th in kps (.258) and 10th in service aces (0.32). Setter Megan Murphy ranks fourth in assists per set at 11.11.
Freshmen Getting PT
A trio of freshmen have seen significant playing time thus far in the young season. Jillian Humphrey and Daniela Arenas have played in all 19 sets, while Lizzy Bache has competed in 18. Humphrey is third on the team with 46 kills and a 2.42 kps. She is also second on the team with 12 blocks (0.63). Arenas, a defensive specialist, is second on the squad in digs with 56 digs (2.95). Bache is fourth kills with 40 (2.22).
Jillian Humphrey was named to the Rice Invitational I all-tournament team. Nancy Cole was named MVP of Rice Invitational II, while Megan White and Megan Murphy were selected to the all-tournament squad.
The Owls compete at SFA's tournament in Nacogdoches, Texas on Sept. 16-17. The Owls take will face North Dakota, Sam Houston, and SFA. Rice begins Conference USA action on Sept. 20 when it hosts Houston at 7 p.m. Rice starts up Conference USA action on Tuesday, Sept. 20 vs. Houston in Tudor Fieldhouse for a 7 p.m. tussle.