Sept. 22, 2011
Houston - The Rice Owls volleyball squad (5-7, 0-1) hosts two Conference USA volleyball matches this weekend in Tudor Fieldhouse.
The Owls will play the Tulane Green Wave (5-6, 0-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. and then faces Southern Miss (6-6) on Sunday at 2 p.m. After this weekend, Rice's next home match wil not be until Oct. 14 vs. UCF.
Quick Look at Rice (5-7, 0-1) 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.
This past Tuesday, Rice lost 3-0 to Houston in the first C-USA match of the season. Mariah Riddlesprigger led Rice with 12 kills.
Rice is led by junior middle blocker Nancy Cole's 125 kills and 2.66 kills per set, while freshman Lizzy Bache sports the team's highest hitting percentage at .252. Setter Megan Murphy is averaging 10.40 assists per set, while Megan White leads the Owl defense with at 4.57 digs per set.
Tulane leads the series vs. the Owls 12-11, but Rice won both meetings last season by 3-0 counts. The Owls are 7-3 vs. Southern Miss and split last year's two contests, both by 3-1 scores.
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 134-93. 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 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 Owls went 0-3 at Hawai'i's Verizon Volleyball Challenge, but rebounded with a 2-1 mark at the SFA Invitational.
Team C-USA Stat Ranks
Rice ranks fifth in C-USA in assists (12.34), seventh in hitting percentage (.220), fifth in kills (12.87), and fifth in digs (15.45).
Individual C-USA Stat Ranks
Nancy Cole ranks 20th in kills per set at 2.66, while Megan White ranks fifth in C-USA in digs per set at 4.57. Setter Megan Murphy ranks fourth in assists per set at 10.40. In blocking, Jillian Humphrey ranks 11th (0.89) and Nancy Cole is 17th (0.81).
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.
Four on the Road
The Owls play their next four games on the road. First up is SMU on Sept. (30) at 7 p.m. followed by a match at Tulsa on Oct. 2 (1 p.m.). Rice then plays two at Marshall on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 in Huntington, W.Va.