Rice VB Goes Cross-Town To Face Houston

Megan Murphy leads C-USA in assists

Oct. 25, 2012

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Rice Owls (16-9, 9-2 C-USA) at Houston Cougars (6-15, 5-6 C-USA)
C-USA Game • Oct. 26, 2012 • 5 p.m.
Athletics/Alumni Center • Houston, Texas
Series: Houston leads 58-19
Last Mtg: 9/18/12 (W, 3-0) at Tudor Fieldhouse
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The Last Meeting
September 18, 2012
Tudor Fieldhouse
Rice VB Beats Cross-Town Rivals Houston 3-0
HOUSTON- Rice defeated its cross-town rivals Houston 3-0 to open C-USA play at Tudor Fieldhouse. Rice held Houston to -.036 hitting, the first time held an opponent to under .000 hitting since Aug. 26, 2005 against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Owls Face Cross-Town Rival Houston

Rice travels to the Athletics/Alumni Center on the campus of the University of Houston to face the Cougars in the squads' last C-USA matchup. Rice won the earlier matchup between the squads on Sept. 18 in three sets. The Owls have won 11 of their last 13 matches, and at 16-9, guarantee their fifth straight .500+ season. Rice is averaging 4.52 more digs per set in the past 13 matches than it did in the first 12.

What's At Stake

-Rice sits a half-game behind Tulsa for the league lead, and could move into first place with a Tulsa loss this weekend.

-The Owls an guarantee a top eight finish, an a berth in the C-USA Tournament, with a victory

-A win gives Rice a perfect 3-0 record in intra-city matchups this year, already having defeated HBU and Houston earlier in the year.

Volleyball On The Bayou
The Owls and Cougars have matched up every season of the programs' mutual history, and have matched up at least twice every season with the execption of the years between 1980-81 and 1996-01. The Owls have won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Cougars.

Cole Named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week (Oct. 22)

Nancy Cole was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 22. The honor is the second of Cole's season and career. She averaged 4.00 kills per set and hit .422 over the course of both games that week. She posted a season-high 21 kills at UTEP, and posted 24.5 points against the Miners, while hitting .417. She hit .429 and picked up 15 kills at Tulane. Rice has had a C-USA Player of the Week seven times in the past eight weeks.

Humphrey Named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 8)

Jillian Humphrey was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8, posting 13 blocks over six sets during the weekend, helping the Owls to a 2-0 week. Humphrey's week was highlighted by an 11 kill and six block performance on Oct. 7, her birthday, as the Owls downed Tulane. Humphrey hit .500 in the match, and accumulated 15.5 points.

Rice In The National Rankings

Rice ranks in the top 60 in four different national categories, including ranking 22nd in assists per set and 29th in kills per set. The Owls rank 40th in digs per set, and 60th in hitting percentage.

Owls Cage The Cougars on Sept. 18

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 had a kill. Laurie McNamara led Rice with five kills that set; the entire Houston squad had five kills in that same 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 30th in the NCAA in assists, and ranks fifth in the league in hitting percentage. She has at least 30 assists in 22 matches, 40+ assists in 13 matches and 50+ assists in seven matches this year. She has ten 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 7th on Rice's all-time list.

Cole Ranks Nationally

Nancy Cole ranks in the top 200 of four different national categories. She ranks 77th in points per set, 112th in kills per set, 95th in hitting percentage and 198th in blocks per set. She ranks 2nd in C-USA hitting percentage, 4th in points, 7th in kills per set and 7th in blocks. She is 6th on Rice's all-time blocks list, and currently Rice's career leader in hitting percentage.

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.

Jillian's Block Party

Jillian Humphrey ranks 2nd in C-USA and 88th in the nation in blocks per set. She ranks ninth in C-USA games in hitting percentage.

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Rice has played 16 home games this season, including three switched to Rice's Fox Gym from LSU's Tiger Classic, which is tied with future C-USA member North Texas for the most in the nation 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. 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.

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.

Scoreboard Watching - Selected Results From Rice's Non-Conference Schedule

No. 5 Washington fell in five sets to No. 2 Stanford, and beat California ... Rice's .358 hitting percentage against Washington is the highest any opponent has hit against the Huskies this year by .070 points ... No. 21 Purdue fell to No. 10 Minnesota ... No. 16 BYU beat No. 25 St. Mary's ... Mississippi won two games in SEC play, against Missouri and South Carolina ... Sam Houston St. extended its winning streak to nine matches ... Houston Baptist has won five straight, and swept the Great West's weekly awards





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