Volleyball Lands Five on All-Conference Teams

Nov. 15, 2017

IRVING, Texas – The Rice Owls volleyball team placed five student-athletes on the C-USA All-Conference teams for a third straight year, the league office announced on Wednesday (11/15/17).

Sophomore middle blocker Grace Morgan was chosen First Team All-C-USA while freshman outside hitter Nicole Lennon, sophomore libero Lee Ann Cunningham, senior setter Madison McDaniel, and senior middle blocker Portia Okafor each earned C-USA Second Team honors. In addition, Lennon became the 10th Owl in school history to be selected to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.

The five all-conference selections for the Owls were the most of any C-USA member and it marked the seventh time in the Genny Volpe era that Rice placed four or more players on all-conference teams.

Morgan was named the C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week earlier this season and earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors twice. In C-USA only matches, Morgan is the only player in the league to rank in the top five in both hitting percentage (3rd-.398) and blocks (3rd-1.40 per set). Morgan leads the Owls with 84 total blocks, kills (191), kills per set (3.18) and points (245.0). The award is Morgan’s first All-Conference honor.

Cunningham leads the Owls with 263 total digs (4.38 per set) during league play, both of which ranks second in C-USA. This season she’s been named to the SMU, Omni Invitational, and Rice Invitational II All-Tournament Teams and posted a career-high 35 digs in a win over Georgetown. Earlier this season, Cunningham surpassed 1,000 career digs in just her second season and on Tuesday was selected to the C-USA All-Academic Team. The award is Cunningham’s first All-Conference honor.

Lennon tied a league record by being named the C-USA Freshman of the Week four times. In addition, Lennon earned the SMU Tournament MVP in her first weekend of collegiate action and was also named the Rice Invitational II MVP. She ranks second on the team with 185 kills and leads Owls in totals attacks (563) and is second in points (213.0). Lennon is the team-leader in double-doubles (14) and third on the team with 162 digs (2.70 per set).

McDaniel has twice named the C-USA Setter of the Week and is second on the team with 11 double-doubles. McDaniel leads the Owls with 523 assists (10.25 per set) and is second on the team with 163 digs (3.20 per set). McDaniel dished out a season-high 61 assists in just four sets in a win at Charlotte and ranks sixth in C-USA only matches in assists per set and ninth in digs per set, the only player in the league to rank in the top 10 in both categories. Earlier this year McDaniel became just the seventh Owl in school history to surpass 3,000 career assists. The award is McDaniel’s third All-Conference honor.

Okafor ranks in the top 10 in C-USA only matches in both hitting percentage (5th-.377) and blocks (5th-1.29 per set). She ranks second on the Owls in hitting percentage, total blocks (67) and blocks per set. In addition, Okafor is third on the team in total kills (107) and points (146.5). Okafor posted a season-high 17 kills in a win at UAB (10/15) and had a season-high 10.0 blocks in a win over Florida Atlantic (10/6). The award is Okafor’s third All-Conference honor.

The Owls face Southern Miss this Friday in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship, hosted by WKU. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m.

All-Conference USA First Team
Jessica Lucas, WKU
Alyssa Cavanaugh, WKU
Rachel Anderson, WKU
Karley York, North Texas
Amanda Chamberlain, North Texas
Holly Milam, North Texas
Grace Morgan, Rice
Yumi Garcia, Charlotte
Marijeta Runjic, UTSA
Sigourney Kame, Florida Atlantic
Madison Hill, Marshall
Sarah Bell, Southern Miss

All-Conference USA Second Team
Sydney Engle, WKU
Alexis Wright, North Texas
Portia Okafor, Rice
Nicole Lennon, Rice
Lee Ann Cunningham, Rice
Madison McDaniel, Rice
Tatyana Thomas, Charlotte
Janell Sparks, Charlotte
Abbi Reid, Florida Atlantic
Ivone Martinez, Florida Atlantic
Kylie Grandy, Southern Miss
Marta Monne, Louisiana Tech
Macey Austin, UTEP

All-Freshman Team
Barbara Teakell, North Texas
Nicole Lennon, Rice
Addisyn Rowe, Marshall
Sydney Rowan, Charlotte
Sydney Nemtuda, Florida Atlantic
Chandler Marshall, Southern Miss
Hannah Froeschl, UTSA






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