Nov. 15, 2012
No. 2 Rice Owls (19-11, 12-4 C-USA) vs. No. 7 Houston Cougars (8-18, 7-9 C-USA)
C-USA Quarterfinal Nov. 16, 2012 5 p.m.
Donald W. Reynolds Center Tulsa, Okla.
Series: Houston leads 59-19
Last Mtg: L, 3-1 (10/26/12) at Athletics/Alumni Center
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The Last Meeting
October 26, 2012
Athletics Alumni Center
No. 3 UCF Knights (14-14, 11-5 C-USA) -OR-
No. 6 Marshall Thundering Herd (18-12, 8-8 C-USA)
C-USA Semifinal Nov. 16, 2012 5 p.m.
Donald W. Reynolds Center Tulsa, Okla.
Owls Start Conference Tournament
Rice looks to earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament from C-USA by winning the C-USA Tournament in Tulsa, Okla. The Owls finished with sole possesion of second in C-USA for the first time since joining the league, after tying for second place a year ago. The Owls are looking to take the season series from cross-town rival Houston, who evened the season score with the Owls with a 3-1 win on Oct. 26.
Rice In The C-USA Tournament
Rice won the last edition of the C-USA Tournament, hosted by the Owls in 2009. Overall, the Owls have won three straight and four of five matches in C-USA Tournament play. The Owls have won their last three first-round matchups, and are 1-2 all-time in the semifinal round. Nancy Cole is the only Owl to have played in a C-USA Tournament. Cole had 10 kills and 17 blocks in the 2009 C-USA Tournament.
Murphy Named C-USA Setter of the Year
Megan Murphy was named C-USA Setter of the Year, becoming only the second Rice player to win the award. Murphy posted 30 or more assists in every C-USA match, including 10 40+ assist efforts. She has not come off the floor this season
Four Owls Named All-C-USA
Rice had four players named to the 2012 All-Conference USA Volleyball teams, the most all-league selections for the Owls since 2009. Nancy Cole and Megan Murphy were named First Team All-C-USA, with Laurie McNamara and Jillian Humphrey earning second team honors. Murphy and Cole are repeat selections, while Humphrey follows up a All-Freshman season with All-league honors. McNamara earns All-C-USA honors for the first time.
Owl Of The Week
The Owls had eight player of the week selections this year, over a ten week span. Megan Murphy was named Setter of the Week five times, Nancy Cole was named Offensive Player of the Week twice, and Jillian Humphrey was named Defensive Player of the Week.
The Owls would attain 20 wins for the third time in the past five years and the fourth time under head coach Genny Volpe with one win at the C-USA Tournament. The Owls have advanced to the NCAA Tournament each time a Genny Volpe-led team has won 20 matches.
Rice In The National Rankings
Rice ranks in the top 76 in four different national categories, including ranking 30th in assists per set and 44th in kills per set. The Owls rank 40th in digs per set, and 76th in hitting percentage.
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 33rd in the NCAA in assists, and ranks 10th in the league in hitting percentage. She has at least 30 assists in 26 matches, 40+ assists in 16 matches and 50+ assists in seven matches this year. She has 13 double doubles on the season, one of which was a triple double, and five 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 250 of three different national categories. She ranks 89th in points per set, 131th in kills per set, and 104th in hitting percentage. She ranks 3rd in C-USA hitting percentage, 6th in points, 7th in kills per set and 10th in blocks. She is 6th on Rice's all-time blocks list, 10th on Rice's all-time kills 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 70th in the nation in blocks per set. She ranks 9th in C-USA matches in hitting percentage and 16th in points per set.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
Rice has played 18 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.
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.
Scoreboard Watching - Selected Results From Rice's Non-Conference Schedule
No. 6 Washington beat California but fell in four to No. 1 Stanford ... Rice's .358 hitting percentage against Washington is the highest any opponent has hit against the Huskies this year by .052 points ... No. 13 BYU beat Santa Clara, who beat the Cougars earlier in WCC play ... No. 21 Purdue beat Iowa but fell to No. 9 Nebraska ... Sam Houston State won the Southland Conference Championship and enters the Southland Tournament as the No. 1 seed.