Owls Flock To Sunshine State
Rice volleyball set for matches at Florida Atlantic, FIU
Oct. 31, 2013
Friday at Florida Atlantic (6 p.m.): Tickets | GameTracker | FAUSportsTV
Sunday at FIU (12 p.m.): Tickets | Stream
HOUSTON - The Owls travel to Florida this weekend for a pair of C-USA matches, beginning Friday at Florida Atlantic and then followed by an afternoon match at FIU on Sunday. Rice will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak and climb up the league standings with just six matches left in the regular season.
Noting Rice Volleyball
• Rice was the preseason pick to win C-USA by the league’s 15 coaches.
• Rice’s non-conference schedule ranked among the toughest in the league, with an average opponent RPI of 102. Only Tulsa’s was more difficult among Conference USA schools.
• In the latest NCAA National Rankings, Sara Blasier ranks 124th in Division I (8th in C-USA) with 9.95 assists per set. Daniela Arenas stands 122nd overall (8th in C-USA) with 4.29 digs per set.
• Lizzy Bache was named All-Rice Invitational I for her .404 hitting percentage, 30 kills, and four service aces in the tournament, while Jillian Humphrey picked up All-Rice Invitational II honors for her 39 kills and 11 blocks in mid-September. Humphrey was also named to the All-Bulldog Invitational team for her solid start to the season.
• Daniela Arenas passed the 1,000-dig mark on the opening weekend of Conference USA play, becoming just the 14th player in program history to reach the milestone. The junior continues her climb up the Rice record book, currently ranking 9th with 1,137 digs.
• The Owls have played five, five-set matches this season (0-5 record), including the first two matches of the year. Rice played six five set matches in all of 2012, going 3-3.
• The Rice Owls volleyball squad raised a record $3,553 in their fifth annual Dig Pink match, teaming up with the Side-Out Foundation to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer. Rice’s dedicated Dig Pink match was vs. Charlotte on Oct. 13, which the Owls won 3-0. Over the past five years, the Owls have raised over $8,000 participating in Dig Pink.
• Megan Murphy and Jillian Humphrey were selected Preseason All-C-USA.
• The Owls enter play this weekend having lost three consecutive matches following a 3-1 home setback to North Texas. The loss snapped a three-game, home win streak for the Owls and was just the second loss to the Mean Green in nine career meetings.
• Rice volleyball is currently in 10th place in the C-USA standings, tied with Southern Miss. The top 12 teams advance to the conference tournament Nov. 21-24 in Murfreesboro.
• Rice is 1-6 on the road this season and are searching for their first away victory since Sept. 10 at Lamar.
Scouting the Owls (9-13, 1-7)
• The Owls are 2-0 all-time against Florida Atlantic but the two teams have not met since Sept. 8, 2000 when Rice won
• FAU snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over East Carolina on Monday. The Owls are 5-4 at home this season. Jelena Jovanovic is 11th in the league in in assists, averaging 8.77 per set while Alessia Pizzoccheri is 11th in service aces (21 total, .26 a set).
Scouting the Golden Panthers (10-13, 4-6)
• Sunday will mark the first ever meeting between the Owls and Golden Panthers. FIU is a half game up on Rice in the league standings and is coming off a 3-0 victory over Louisiana Tech. Prior to that win the Golden Panthers had lost four of five matches sandwiched around a win over FAU.
• FIU’s Kimberly Smith is ranks 9th in C-USA in hitting percentage (.328), 6th in blocks (1.10/set) and 18th in points (3.60/set).