Oct. 26, 2011
The Rice Owls volleyball squad (12-10, 7-4) plays at UTEP on Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m. (CT) in El Paso, Texas. The Owls continue the weekend's action with a match on Sunday, October 30, at UCF, in Orlando, Fla. (noon CT).
Quick Look at Rice (11-9, 6-3)
Rice split its matches last weekend with a 3-0 win over Memphis on Friday and a tough 3-1 loss at UAB on Sunday. Nancy Cole led Rice with 32 kills, including 20 at UAB last week.
Rice features a balanced attack as evidence by three Owls who continue to average over 2.00 kills per set. Junior middle blocker Nancy Cole leads the squad with 253 kills and a 3.01 kills per set, junior Laurie McNamara follows at 2.48 (208 kills), while freshman Lizzy Bache averages 2.30 kills per set (184 kills). Jillian Humphrey is close at 1.95 kps (165 kills).
Quick Look at UTEP (16-8, 6-5)
The Miners are led by Xitlai Herrera's 279 kills (3.13 kills per set) and .334 hitting percnetage. Bridget Logan follows with 277 kills (3.15 kps) and Jean Horton has 266 kills (2.99 kps). Herrera also averages 1.29 blocks per set, while setter Malia Patterson averages 10.04 assists per set.
Quick Look at UCF (13-9, 5-6)
Leading the Knights in kills is Angelica Crump with 336 kills for a 4.31 kps average, while Evija Vilde follows with 262 kills (3.36 kps). Setter Rachel Vukson leads the league with a 12.13 assists per set average.
The Owls lost to UCF 3-1 previous this season, but lead the overall series 7-3. Rice knocked off UTEP 3-0 in the first go-around to now lead the series 26-8.
Rice 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 141-96. She has led the Owls to all three of their NCAA championship appearances (2004, 2008, and 2009).
Rice is 5-6 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 were 0-3 at Hawai'i's Verizon Volleyball Challenge and went 2-1 at the SFA Invitational.
Team C-USA Stat Ranksbr> Rice ranks sixth in hitting percentage (.225), fifth in C-USA in assists (12.70), sixth in kills (13.38), fifth in blocks (2.23), and third in digs (16.52).
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.
C-USA 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.
The Owls play their final four home matches in the following two weekends of action. Rice hosts East Carolina on Nov. 5 (6:30 p.m.) and Nov. 6 (2 p.m.) and then hosts Tulsa (Nov. 11; 7 p.m.) and will honor its seniors on Nov. 13 vs. SMU (2 p.m.).