C-USA Championship Notes (vs. Southern Miss) | Bracket | Championship Central
No. 3 Rice Owls (21-9, 11-5 C-USA) vs. No. 6 Southern Miss (23-10, 10-6)
C-USA Quarterfinals, Friday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m.
San Antonio, Texas • UTSA Convocation Center (4,080)
Live Stats: GameTracker
Video Stream ($): C-USA Digital Network
Twitter Updates: @OwlsVB |@SouthernMissVB
Series Record: Rice leads, 12-4
With a Win: Would advance to play the winner of the No. 2 UTSA/No. 7 FIU match in the C-USA Semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 12 p.m. (C-USA Digital Network).
How to Watch: The quarterfinals and semifinals of the C-USA Championship will be streamed on the C-USA Digital Network.
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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 San Antonio. Rice finished third in C-USA during the regular season and will face sixth-seeded Southern Miss on Friday at 2 p.m. The Owls are 7-7 all-time in the C-USA tournament and last won the tournament title in 2009. Rice advanced to the C-USA title game last season before falling in five sets to WKU.
- Rice leads the all-times series over Southern Miss, 12-4, including a 3-0 sweep over the Golden Eagles back on Oct. 29 at Tudor Fieldhouse. In that match three Owls (Chelsey Harris, Leah Mikesky, Noelle Whitlock) had 14 kills apiece and Madison McDaniel posted 39 assists and 15 digs.
- Earlier this week the Owls landed five players on the All-C-USA teams, including sophomore Madison McDaniel and junior Leah Mikesky to the first team. Junior Chelsey Harris and sophomore Portia Okafor were each second-team selections while McKay Kyle became the eighth different Owl to be named to the C-USA All-Freshman squad.
- With 21 wins, Rice head coach Genny Volpe has led the Owls to their fifth 20-win season under her guidance and second straight overall. Volpe is the school’s all-time leader in both career wins (221) and winning percentage (.597) and earlier this season recorded her 100th career C-USA victory.
- For the first time in school history, the Owls defeated two Top-25 programs in a single season earlier this year. Rice first knocked off then No. 23 Colorado in four sets back on Sept. 12 and then handed No. 22 WKU their only C-USA loss of the season on Oct. 31.
- Rice ranks No. 65 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released on Monday. Rice trails only WKU (No. 19) amongst C-USA schools in the rankings.
- The Owls ranks in the Top-20 in the nation in five different categories entering play Friday. Rice is second in both total team assists (1,631) and total team kills (1,729). Rice also comes in at 13th in assists per set (13.59) and 14th in kills per set (14.41). The Owls are also 17th in total team attacks (4,394).
- Sophomore setter Madison McDaniel was named the AVCA National Player of the Week on Nov. 3 following a career performance vs. WKU of 70 assists. McDaniel joined former Owl great Tiffany Carrethers (Nov. 2, 1998) as the only Owls to ever win an AVCA National Player of the Week award and was the first C-USA setter to accomplish the feat since 2011.
- Rice won 11 C-USA weekly awards by six different players this season, the most in the league.
- Seniors Noelle Whitlock and Kimberly Vaio each eclipsed 1,000 career digs this season, becoming the 16th and 17th players in school history to accomplish the feat.
- The Owls got off to their best 16-match start (12-4) since the 2009 season, in which Rice won the C-USA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
- Rice played a school record fourth consecutive, five-set match in their Oct. 15 loss to UTSA. The Owls have gone to five sets on 11 different occasions in 2015, posting a 7-4 record in such instances. Rice played a school record 15 five-set matches in 2006.