Nov. 10, 2011
The Rice Owls volleyball squad hosts its final two home matches of the 2011 season this weekend.
The Owls will play Tulsa on Friday, November 11 at 7 p.m. and SMU on Sunday, November 13 at 2 p.m. Rice will honor is seniors prior to the SMU match. Both matches take place in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Quick Look at Rice (15-11, 10-5)
Rice took care of business and defeated last place East Carolina twice by 3-0 scores. Nancy Cole led the Owls with 16 and 15 kills respectively in the two victories.
Rice features a balanced attack as evidence by four Owls who average over 2.00 kills per set. Junior middle blocker Nancy Cole leads the squad with 309 kills and a 3.19 kills per set, junior Laurie McNamara follows at 2.52 (244 kills), while freshman Lizzy Bache averages 2.32 kills per set (200 kills) and Jillian Humphrey is at 2.04 kps (198 kills).
Quick Look at Tulsa (23-5, 14-1)
The Golden Hurricane has won 17 of their last 18 matches including the last 10 in a row. Pre-season C-USA player of the year Tyler Henderson leads TU with 473 kills and a 4.88 kps.
Quick Look at SMU (12-15, 8-7)
The Mustangs have captured three of its last four matches and have the only win over first place Tulsa this season in C-USA (3-1; Oct. 5). Jessica Oliver leads the SMU attack with 3.04 kps with 328 kills. Dana Powell follows at 2.79 kps (301 kills). Courtney Manning (1.43) and Caroline Daly (123) lead SMU in blocks.
The Owls lead the series vs. Tulsa 20-14, but TU won the season's first match 3-0 in Tulsa (Oct. 2). Rice is 20-11 vs. the Mustangs after winning 3-1 in Dallas (Sept. 30).
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 144-97. She has led the Owls to all three of their NCAA championship appearances (2004, 2008, and 2009).
Setter Megan Murphy leads Rice with 1 double-doubles this season, while Laurie McNamara follows with 7 double-doubles. Nancy Cole tops the Owls with 21 matches in double-digit kills. Megan White leads Rice with 18 matches in double-digit digs with 17, while Mariah Riddlesprigger is next with 15.
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.
Individual C-USA Stat Ranks
Nancy Cole ranks eighth in hitting percentage (.317), 10th in kills per set (3.19), eighth in points (3.91), and 13th in blocks (0.97). Lizzy Bache ranks 20th in hitting percentage (.245). Megan Murphy is fifth in assists (10.77). ). Jillian Humphrey is the league's top freshman in in blocks, ranking fifth at 1.14.
Team C-USA Stat Ranks
Rice ranks fifth in hitting percentage (.236), fourth in C-USA in assists (12.90), third in kills (13.69), fifth in blocks (2.30), and fifth in digs (16.51
White Over 1000 Career Digs
Senior Megan White went over the 1,000-career digs plateau with 20 digs in the match at UCF. White now has 1,029 career digs and is poised to crack Rice's top 10 career digs chart. Also, junior Nancy Cole now has 815 kills to lead all active Owls.
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.
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.
The Owls close out the 2011 regular season with three matches on the road. First, Rice plays at Southern Miss (Nov. 18), then at Tulane (Nov. 20), and the final regular season contest is on Nov. 23 at Houston.