Five Owls Named to C-USA All-Conference Teams

Nov. 16, 2016

HOUSTON – Conference USA released its annual volleyball All-Conference and All-Freshman teams Wednesday morning and the Rice Owls were well represented with five athletes total earning recognition.

Right side hitter Chelsey Harris and setter Madison McDaniel were named First Team All-CUSA, with Leah Mikesky and Portia Okafor earning Second Team honors. In addition, freshman libero Lee Ann Cunningham became the ninth Owl in school history to be chosen to the C-USA All-Freshman Team.

The five all-conference selections for the Owls were tied with WKU for the second-most selections among C-USA schools, behind Marshall and Southern Miss six apiece. It’s the second straight season the Owls have five or more all-conference selections and the sixth time in the Genny Volpe era that Rice placed four or more players on all-conference teams.

Harris, a senior from Houston, earned her first career C-USA First Team honor after being named to the Second Team in 2014 and 2015. She leads the Owls in total kills (373), kills per set (3.45-5th in C-USA) and total points (410.0). Harris earned her first career C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 26, and posted double-digit kills in 26 of 29 matches this season.

McDaniel, a junior from The Woodlands, was named C-USA First Team for a second straight season. She ranks 12th in the nation (2nd in C-USA) in total assists (1,151) and leads all of C-USA in double-doubles (19). Earlier this season McDaniel earned a C-USA Setter of the Week award, as well as a C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honor. McDaniel has recorded 40 or more assists in 14 matches this season.

Mikesky, a senior from Schulenburg, Texas, earned Second Team honors for the second time in her career by ranking third in C-USA with 13 double-doubles. Mikesky ranked second on the Owls in total kills (343), kills per set (3.27) and points (370.5) and was third in total digs (280) and digs per set (2.67). She was selected the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 31 and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection for a second straight year.

Okafor, a junior from Lewisville, Texas, led all of C-USA in blocks per set (1.28) and was 25th in the nation (second in C-USA) in total blocks with 136. She was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 17. Okafor earned her second straight Second Team selection by posting five or more blocks in 14 matches this season and was third on the Owls with 307.0 total points.

Playing as a true freshman, Cunningham ranked third in all of C-USA with 464 digs and was fourth in digs per set (4.30). The Kentucky native had the second-most digs (32) in a single match among C-USA players this season and in the process became the first Owl with 30-plus digs in a match since 2013. She was awarded the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week following an opening weekend in which she recorded 28 digs at current No. 10 ranked BYU.

The Owls face Marshall this Friday in the quarterfinals of the C-USA Championship, hosted by Rice. First serve is scheduled for 5 p.m.

All-Conference USA First Team
Alyssa Cavanaugh, WKU
Jessica Lucas, WKU
Stephany Purdue, USM
Chelsey Harris, Rice
Dajana Boskovic, UTSA
Sarah Bell, USM
Rachel Anderson, WKU
Maja Ristic, FAU
Amanda Chamberlain, NT
Holly Milam, NT
Madison McDaniel, Rice
Allie Kellerman, MAR
Abbi Reid, FAU
Ally Kiekover, MAR

All-Conference USA Second Team
Leah Mikesky, Rice
Madison Hill, MAR
Portia Okafor, Rice
Georgia O’Connell, WKU
Kylie Grandy, USM
Catherine Repsher, USM
Marijeta Runjic, UTSA
Katie Hogan, FIU
Sydney Engle, WKU
Chanel Joyce, USM
Sarah Villa, UTEP
Lindsey Larson, UTEP

All-Freshman Team
Sigourney Kame, FAU
Jac’cara Walker, MAR
Madison Hill, MAR
Catherine Repsher, USM
Emma Eakin, NT
Madelyn Cole, MAR
Macey Austin, UTEP
Lee Ann Cunningham, Rice





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