VB Hosts UTEP Friday; Dig Pink & Tulane Sunday

Daniela Arenas has 20+ digs five times in her last seven matches

Oct. 4, 2012

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Rice Owls (11-8, 4-1 C-USA) vs. UTEP Miners (10-7, 4-1 C-USA)
C-USA Game • Oct. 5, 2012 • 7 p.m.
Tudor Fieldhouse • Houston, Texas
Series: Rice leads 27-8

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Rice Owls (11-8, 4-1 C-USA) vs. Tulane Green Wave (4-12, 2-3 C-USA)
C-USA Game • Oct. 7, 2012 • 1 p.m.
Tudor Fieldhouse • Houston, Texas
Series: Rice leads 13-12

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The Last Meeting
October 28, 2011
El Paso, Texas
Rice Volleyball Team Sweeps UTEP 3-0
Rice middle blocker Nancy Cole pounded a match-high 15 kills to lead the Owls to a 3-0 Conference USA volleyball sweep at UTEP Friday evening.

The Last Meeting
November 20, 2011
New Orleans, La.
Rice Beats Tulane 3-0 in Volleyball
The Rice Owls volleyball team remains in second place in Conference USA after a dominating 3-0 victory at Tulane Sunday afternoon.

Rice Hosts UTEP On Friday, Dig Pink & Tulane On Sunday

Rice welcomes UTEP on to Tudor Fieldhouse on Friday, in a matchup of teams tied for second in C-USA, then hosts Tulane in the annual Dig Pink match on Friday. The Owls have won six of their last seven and nine of their last 12 matches entering this weekend. Rice has played three consecutive five set matches, going 2-1 in those three matches, beating UAB and SMU in five sets, but falling to Tulsa in five.

Dig Pink

Rice hosts Dig Pink on Sunday against Tulane, after raising over $2,000, a school record for last year's Dig Pink match (Oct. 19 vs. Memphis; W, 3-0). Donations are accepted, and benefit the Side Out Foundation, which aims to promote breast cancer research and patient supoort. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game, and recieve $1 off admission for doing so. Pink Rice Volleyball T-shirts are available for $10 at the Rice Bookstore or at Tudor Fieldhouse on Sunday. Rice's libero will wear a pink jersey for the match.

Rice In The National Rankings

Rice ranks in the top 100 in five different national categories, including ranking 27th in assists per set and 33rd in kills per set. The Owls rank 55th in digs per set, 70th in hitting percentage and 73rd in blocks per set.

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 36th in the NCAA in assists, and ranks third in the league in hitting percentage. She has at least 30 assists in 16 matches, 40+ assists in 10 matches and 50+ assists in five matches this year. She has seven 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.

Cole Ranks Nationally

Nancy Cole ranks in the top 200 of four different national categories. She ranks 89th in points per set, 121st in kills per set, 161st in hitting percentage and 185th in blocks per set. She ranks 6th in C-USA in points, 8th in hitting percentage, 8th in kills per set and 9th in blocks. She is 7th on Rice's all-time blocks 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.

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 .335 against RPI Top 100 teams (.319 against all teams) and posting better averages in blocks, kills, and points than she has against RPI teams 101 and below.

State-Of-The-Art Arenas

Daniela Arenas ranks fourth in C-USA games in digs per set, and has posted five 20+ dig efforts in her last seven matches. In fact, she has tied or set a career-high in five of those seven matches, including three efforts of 22 digs for her current career-high, last set against Tulsa.

Riddle Me This

Mariah Riddlesprigger posted two straight double doubles, against SMU and Tulsa (Sept. 28-30). She posted a then season-high 12 kills and a career-high 26 digs against SMU, then set a season-high 14 kills and 22 digs against Tulsa. She now has three double doubles on the season.

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.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Rice has played 13 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. Arizona and North Carolina St. have also hosted 13 home games this season.

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.

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 1,122 kills for her career, and needs to reach 1,233 kills to enter the top ten all-time at Rice.

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.





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