Sept. 17, 2012
C-USA Game Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750) Houston, Texas
Rice Owls (7-7, 0-0 C-USA) vs.
Houston Cougars (1-9, 0-0 C-USA)
Sept. 18, 2012 7 p.m.
Tudor Fieldhouse Houston, Texas
Series: Houston leads 59-18
Last Mtg: 11/23/11 (L, 3-2) at Athletics/Alumni Center
Rice Opens C-USA Play With Cross-Town Rivals Houston
The Owls, winners of five of their last seven, begin C-USA play with the Houston Cougars. Rice finished second in Rice Invitational II, picking up wins over HBU and Texas Tech, and had a third Top 2 finish in a tournament this year. Megan Murphy leads the Owls into conference play, having picked up three straight C-USA Setter of the Week awards, tied for the most consecutive in league history. Murphy needs 72 assists to reach 2,000 for her career. Rice has won nine of its last ten against Houston on South Main.
Murphy Grabs Third Straight Player Of The Week (Sept. 17)
Megan Murphy was named Conference USA Setter of the Week for the third straight week on Sept. 17, becoming only the second player (also Jordan Clampitt, Tulsa) in league history to win the award three consecutive weeks.
Murphy's 121 assists helped the Owls to two wins in the Rice Invitational II, and ranked second in the tournament in assists per set. She posted two 40+ assist games and two double-doubles in the tournament.
Volleyball On The Bayou
The Owls and Cougars have matched up every season of the programs' mutual history, and have matched up at least twice every season with the execption of the years between 1980-81 and 1996-01. The Owls have won six of the last nine meetings with the Cougars, and are 9-1 in its last ten home games against the Cougars.
Tech-nically The Longest Set
Rice's second set against Texas Tech on Sept. 15, a 38-36 Rice victory, is tied for the longest set in school history, and the longest since scoring changed to 25-point sets in 2007. In 2002, when sets were played to 30 points, Rice won a 38-36 third set against Louisiana Tech, but fell in the match 3-1. Rice broke seven set points in the Sept. 15 match, before downing the Red Raiders on the way to a sweep.
Opponents Running Into Murphy's Law
Setter Megan Murphy leads C-USA in assists, and has had at least 31 assists in 11 matches, 40+ assists in seven match and 50+ assists in three matches this year. Murphy has 58 kills off of .309 hitting, has 100 digs and 22 blocks. She has three double-doubles on the season, and three C-USA Setter of the Week awards. Murphy needs 72 assists to reach 2,000 for her career, and ranks 8th on Rice's all-time list.
Nancy Cole 1K
In the first set of the Ole Miss match on Sept. 7, Nancy Cole became the 13th player in Rice history to reach 1,000 career kills. She has 1,054 kills for her career, and needs to reach 1,233 kills to enter the top ten all-time at Rice.
Rice Takes Two At Invitational No. 2
Rice won two games at Rice Invitational II, beating in-state opposition from HBU and Texas Tech. Nancy Cole and Laurie McNamara were named All-Rice Invitational II, after ranking first and second in the tournament respectively in kills per set. Cole added in 13 blocks to co-lead the tournament. Tyler Jenkins led the tournament in Hitting Percentage (.435) and service aces (4). Megan Murphy finished second in the tournament in assists, and was selected as C-USA Setter of the Week for her efforts.
Cole and Murphy Named C-USA Players Of The Week (Sept. 10)
Both Nancy Cole and Megan Murphy picked up C-USA weekly honors on Sept. 10. Over that week, Cole had two 15+ kill matches, picking up 19 kills and hitting .371 against North Dakota, and she picked up 15 kills against Sam Houston St. The honor is the first of Cole's career. Murphy picked up her second consecutive weekly honor with 146 assists over the course of the week, helping Rice hit .254 and go 3-1 in the week. Her 52 assists against North Dakota are the most in a four-set match this season by a C-USA player.
Cole and Murphy Named Preseason All-C-USA
Senior middle blocker Nancy Cole and junior setter Megan Murphy were named to the Preseason All-Conference USA Volleyball Team. Cole makes her second consecutive appearance on the Preseason All-C-USA team. Cole is a two-time postseason All-C-USA selection, and was named an All-American by the AVCA last season. Murphy makes her first appearance on the Preseason All-Conference USA. She was named postseason All-C-USA and an AVCA All-American in 2011.
Rice Picked To Finish Second In C-USA
Rice was voted to finish second in C-USA by the league's coaches in the preseason poll. Tulsa was tabbed as the league's favorite, after winning two straight conference championships. The Owls totaled 119 points in the poll, six points ahead of third placed UCF. Rice finished second in Conference USA in 2011, its highest finish in the C-USA regular season. The Owls return six starters from last year's squad which went 18-13, good for the program's fourth straight .500-or-better season.
It's A Hit!
Rice leads Conference USA in hitting percentage and ranks 71st in the nation in that category.