Sept. 14, 2011
The Rice Owls volleyball squad (3-5) competes at the Chilly Fillmore's SFA Invitational this Friday and Saturday at Stephen F. Austin State in Nacogdoches, Texas. The Owls begin play with 3 p.m. match vs. North Dakota on Sept. 16 and have two matches on Sept. 17 10 a.m. vs. Sam Houston State, and 7 p.m. vs. SFA. All action takes place inside Shelton Gym.
Quick Look at Rice (3-5, 0-0) The Owls lost all three matches last week at the Verizon Volleyball Challenge in Hawai'i. Rice fell to Hawai'i 3-0, and lost two tight matches in five sets to Cincinnati and Pacific. Junior Laurie McNamara was named to the all-tournament team.
Rice is led by junior middle blocker Nancy Cole's 86 kills and 2.69 kills per set. Freshman Lizzy Bache sports the team's highest hitting percentage at .275 (76-19-207). Setter Megan Murphy is averaging 10.53 assists per set, while Megan White leads the Owl defense with at 4.94 digs per set.
Rice and North Dakota are meeting for the very first time, while the Owls lead Sam Houston State 18-14. The Owls are 16-11 vs. SFA, after winning 3-0 last season in Houston.
Defensive Player of the Week
Senior Megan White was named as Conference USA's Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 5) 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 132-91. 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 3-5 during in-season tournament action. Rice posted a 0-2 mark at the Rice Invitational I and went 3-0 in the Rice Invitational II. The were 0-3 at Hawai'i's Verizon Volleyball Challenge.
Team C-USA Stat Ranks
Rice ranks fifth in C-USA in assists (12.47), seventh in hitting percentage (.216), sixth in kills (12.97), and fourth in digs (15.53).
Individual C-USA Stat Ranks
Megan White ranks fourth in C-USA in digs per set at 4.94. Nancy Cole ranks 19th in in kps (2.69) and 16th in blocks (0.81). Setter Megan Murphy ranks fifth in assists per set at 10.53.
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. Laurie McNamara was selected to the all-tournament at Hawai'i.
Rice begins Conference USA action on Sept. 20 when it hosts Houston at 7 p.m.