Sept. 19, 2011
The Rice Owls volleyball squad (5-6) begins Conference USA action on Tuesday when it hosts the Houston Cougars (7-3) at 7 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
Quick Look at Rice (3-5, 0-0)
The Owls posted a 2-1 record last week at the SFA Invitational. Rice lost 3-2 to North Dakota, but won 3-1 over Sam Houston State and 3-0 over Stephen F. Austin State. Megan Murphy and MeganWhite were named to the all-tournament team for their stellar play.
Rice is led by junior middle blocker Nancy Cole's 116 kills and 2.64 kills per set, while freshman Lizzy Bache sports the team's highest hitting percentage at .266. Setter Megan Murphy is averaging 10.34 assists per set, while Megan White leads the Owl defense with at 4.59 digs per set.
Quick Look at Houston (7-3, 0-0)
Houston enters C-USA play on a two-match win streak and winners in four of its last five matches. Senior Lucy Charuk leads the team with 103 kills and a .362 hitting percentage. Freshman Caitlin Ogletree paces the team with 370 assists and freshman Natalie Keck's 143 digs are a team high.
Houston leads the series 57 to 18, but the Owls have won the last four meetings.
Rice 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.
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.
Rice is 5-6 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 and went 2-1 at the SFA Invitational.
Team C-USA Stat Ranks
Rice ranks fifth in C-USA in assists (12.20), seventh in hitting percentage (.221), sixth in kills (12.75), and fourth in digs (15.16).
Individual C-USA Stat Ranks
Freshman Lizzy Bache's .266 hitting percentage leads Rice and ranks 18th in Conference USA. Megan White ranks fifth in C-USA in digs per set at 4.59. Setter Megan Murphy ranks third in assists per set at 10.34. In blocking, Jillian Humphrey ranks 11th (0.89) and Nancy Cole is 12th (0.86).
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. White and Murphy were also selected to the SFA Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Rice hosts Tulane on Friday at 7 p.m. and Southern Miss on Sunday at 2 p.m.