Sept. 20, 2012
C-USA Game Sept. 21, 2012 7 p.m.
Elma Roane Fieldhouse Memphis, Tenn.
Series: Series tied 4-4
Last Mtg: 10/21/11 (W, 3-0) at Tudor Fieldhouse
Rice Owls (8-7, 1-0 C-USA) vs. UAB Blazers (6-8, 0-0 C-USA)
C-USA Game Sept. 23, 2012 1 p.m.
Bartow Arena Birmingham, Ala.
Series: Rice leads 9-5
Last Mtg: 10/23/11 (L, 3-1) at UAB
Owls Make First Conference Road Trip Of The Season
Rice has won three straight matches and nine straight sets as it travels to Memphis and UAB for the opening weekend of C-USA play. Rice has won six of its last eight matches, and have held opponents to .180 hitting in that span, while Nancy Cole leads the Owls with a .340 hitting percentage in that time. The Owls have started off C-USA on the right foot, sweeping cross-town rivals Houston to advance to 1-0 in C-USA play. Megan Murphy, three-time reigning C-USA Setter of the Week, needs 37 assists to reach 2,000 for her career.
Owls Cage The Cougars
On Sept. 18, Rice swept Houston to open C-USA play. Rice held Houston to -.036 hitting, the first time held an opponent to under .000 hitting since Aug. 26, 2005 against Louisiana-Lafayette. Houston did not break even in hitting in any set. The Owls dominated the first set, starting on an 11-1 run before Houston even got a kill. Laurie McNamara led Rice with five kills that set; the entire Houston squad had five kills in that same set.
Daniela Arenas set a career-high on Sept. 18 against Houston with 22 digs, posting her third straight 20+ dig effort. She set a career-high in each of those three games, her previous career-high was 19 before besting the mark against HBU with 20, then matching it again with 20 against Texas Tech.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Rice has played 11 home games this season, including three switched to Rice's Fox Gym from LSU's Tiger Classic, which is the most in the nation this season. Louisville, Hofstra, Arizona, West Virginia and future C-USA rival North Texas have all hosted 10 games at home.
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.
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 38 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 1,064 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 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.
Rice Picked To Finish Second In The League; Cole and Murphy Named Preseason All-C-USA
Rice was voted to finish second in C-USA, while 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.
It's A Hit!
Rice leads Conference USA in hitting percentage and ranks 71st in the nation in that category.