Sept. 27, 2012
Rice Owls (10-7, 3-0 C-USA) vs. SMU Mustangs (4-11, 1-2 C-USA)
C-USA Game Sept. 28, 2012 7 p.m.
Tudor Fieldhouse Houston, Texas
Series: Rice leads 21-11
Last Mtg: 11/13/11 (W, 3-0) at Tudor Fieldhouse
Rice Owls vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10-7, 3-0 C-USA)
C-USA Game Sept. 30, 2012 1 p.m.
Tudor Fieldhouse Houston, Texas
Series: Rice leads 20-15
Last Mtg: 11/11/11 (L, 3-1) at Tudor Fieldhouse
Owls Take on Mustangs and C-USA Co-Leader Tulsa
Rice has won five straight matches, its longest winning streak since 2009, and eight of its last ten matches, as it faces SMU and Tulsa this weekend. Tulsa and Rice were voted to finish first and second respectively in C-USA by the league's coaches, and are tied atop the C-USA standings as the league's only unbeaten teams and only three-win teams, both standing at 3-0 in league. The Mustangs visit Rice on Friday, looking to right the ship after a 4-11 start to the season.
Rice has won five straight matches, dating back to Sept. 14, marking its longest winning streak since 2009, when the Owls had a nine match winning streak. The Owls won 12 straight sets during the current winning streak, seeing that streak snapped at UAB. Rice has outhit opponents .288-.153 during the win streak. The school record is a 12-match win streak in 1995.
The Litmus Test
Rice and Tulsa are set to match up on Sunday, pitting the two league leaders entering the weekend, and the two squads voted to finish first and second in the league prior to the season against each other. Tulsa has a 13-5 edge over Rice since 2004, however, in each season that Rice has beaten Tulsa (2004, 2008 and 2009), Rice has gone on to the NCAA Tournament.
Murphy Sets C-USA Record With Four Setter of the Week Honors
Megan Murphy was named Conference USA Setter of the Week for the fourth straight week on Sept. 24, becoming the first player in league history to win the award four consecutive weeks.
She started the run on Sept. 3, being named C-USA Setter of the Week, after posting 50 assists against then-No. 7 Purdue. She picked up 146 assists and hit .469 the week of Sept. 10 for her second honor. The week of Sept. 17, she posted two 40+ assist games and two double doubles. She shared Setter of the Week honors on Sept. 24 after posting 58 assists a triple double against UAB.
Opponents Running Into Murphy's Law
Setter Megan Murphy leads C-USA and ranks 31st in the NCAA in assists, and ranks sixth in hitting percentage. She has at least 30 assists in 14 matches, 40+ assists in eight matches and 50+ assists in four matches this year. Murphy has 77 kills off of .327 hitting, has 128 digs and 25 blocks. She has six double doubles on the season, one of which was a triple double, and four C-USA Setter of the Week awards. Murphy she collected the 2,000th assist of her career on Sept. 23, and ranks 8th on Rice's all-time list.
Murphy Earns A Triple Double
On Sept. 23, Megan Murphy posted the first triple double for Rice since 2006 with 10 kills, 58 assists and 10 digs in a 3-2 win at UAB. Rachel Lopez was the last Rice player to have a triple double, posting one on Sept. 24, 2006, almost six years to the day before Murphy did it. Murphy is the eighth different player in Division I to post a triple double this year, and her 58 assists are the most assists in a triple double this season.
Cole Fired Up Against Tough Competition
Senior Nancy Cole ranks in the top 10 in Conference USA and the top 200 in the nation in four different categories (blocks per set, kills per set, hitting percentage, and points per set). She has posted better stats against the toughest teams Rice has played, hitting .344 against RPI Top 100 teams (.333 against all teams) and posting better averages in blocks, kills, and points than she has against RPI teams 101 and below.
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 third-most in the nation this season. Louisville and future C-USA rival North Texas have hosted 12 games this season.
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 was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week during that week, as she picked up 4.27 kills per set during the week. She has 1,091 kills for her career, and needs to reach 1,233 kills to enter the top ten all-time at Rice.