C-USA Championship Notes (vs. Southern Miss) | Bracket | Championship Central
No. 3 Rice Owls (21-7, 11-3 C-USA) vs. No. 6 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (19-11, 11-5)
C-USA Quarterfinals, Friday, Nov. 17, 2 p.m.
Bowling Green, Ky. • E.A. Diddle Arena
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Series Record: Rice leads, 14-6
NEWS & NOTES
*The Owls will be in search of an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament from Conference USA by winning the C-USA Championship this weekend in Bowling Green, Ky. Rice closed the regular season as the No. 3 seed and will face No. 6 seed Southern Miss in the quarterfinals on Friday.
*Rice is 9-9 all-time in the C-USA Championship and last won the tournament in 2009. Last season the Owls advanced all the way to the C-USA title match before falling to WKU in five sets. Along the way, Rice defeated Southern Miss in the semifinals in five sets.
*The Owls are 14-6 all-time against Southern Miss, including a 3-1 victory over the Golden Eagles on Senior Day back on Nov. 5.
*Rice was well represented on the C-USA All-Conference teams, which were announced on Wednesday. Grace Morgan was selected to the First Team while Lee Ann Cunningham, Nicole Lennon, Madison McDaniel and Portia Okafor earned Second Team honors. In addition, Lennon was named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
*Rice has already established a single-season school record with nine five-set victories, going 9-1 overall when going the distance. Nine of the Owls last 17 matches have gone the full five sets.
*The Owls are ranked No. 22 in the latest VolleyballMag.com Mid-Major rankings. WKU (No. 7) and North Texas (12) also represent C-USA in the poll.
*Rice leads C-USA in digs per set (16.79), team assists (1,429-18th in nation), team kills (1,512-24th in nation), team digs (1,931-20th in nation), opponents hitting percentage (.167), and team total attacks (4,196-36th in nation). In addition the Owls rank second in blocks per set (2.52), team attacks per set (36.49), and team total blocks (290.0).
*Sophomore libero Lee Ann Cunningham, who was named to the C-USA All-Academic Team last Friday, surpassed 1,000 career digs in just her second season earlier this year.
*Freshman outside hitter Nicole Lennon leads all Owls with 14 double-doubles and ranks first in C-USA in points (448.0) and total attacks (1,220). Lennon leads all freshmen in the nation in total attacks.
*During C-USA play, sophomore middle blocker Grace Morgan has been spectacular for the Owls. The Crowley, La. is third in the league in hitting percentage (.398), totaling 191 kills on 384 attacks. She also ranks first in league play in total blocks (84) and is third in blocks per set (1.40).
*Rice’s 27.0 team blocks performance against UTSA is the most by a team in a single match this season in all of NCAA Division I and ranked second in school history (29 done twice in 1983 and 1988).
*Earlier this season, Madison McDaniel (3,295 assists) eclipsed 3,000 career assists and moved past former Owl great Megan Murphy (3,006 assists) for sixth place on the Rice all-time assists list.
*Head coach Genny Volpe recorded her 250th career win in the Owls’ 3-1 victory over
Georgetown on Sept. 16. The Owls all-time leader in totals wins (262) and winning percentage (.607) recorded her seventh 20-win season for the Owls.