Feb. 23, 2010
The Rice volleyball program celebrated another fantastic season, one that saw the Owls play in their third NCAA appearance, during its annual awards banquet.
Earning team mvp, as voted upon by her teammates, was senior team co-captain Natalie Bogan. Channing Grigsby, another senior, was selected as the team's most improved player, while freshman Nancy Cole was selected as the team's newcomer award winner. Junior libero Tracey Lam was honored with the team's commitment award.
Senior Jessie Boulavsky earned the scholar-athlete award as sporting the highest grade point average on the team at 4.052 on a 4.00 scale. Earning the "Hard Hat" award for hard work and dedication was senior Jennifer McClean.
A senior middle blocker from Oakland, Calif., Natalie Bogan was named to the All-Conference USA First Team for the second straight year in leading the Owls with a .345 hitting percentage. The team's co-captain ranked second on the squad with 371 kills and 3.25 kills per set. Bogan concluded her career ranked seventh in school history with 1,326 kills.
Back-to-back Conference USA Libéro of the Year (2008, 2009) Tracey Lam was named to the AVCA All-Midwest Region team for the first time. In 2009, she led the league in digs per set with a remarkable 5.50 dps average, which ranked in the top 10 nationally. An All-C-USA First Team pick, Lam set a Rice record with 633 digs during the season, which is also the fifth-highest mark in C-USA history. The junior from San Francisco has 1,701 career digs that ranks seventh in C-USA.
Grigsby, from Pacific Palisades, Calif., had one of her most productive seasons at Rice. In 2009, Grigsby collected 152 digs and served up 12 aces.
McClean, was team co-captain for 2009 and concluded her career at Rice with 1,388 career digs, which is fourth in school history and with 954 kills. During her senior season the accumulated 325 kills (2.85 kps) and was second on team with 411 digs that ranks ninth all-time at Rice.
Boulavsky finished her career with a.273 career hitting percentage, which ranks seventh at Rice. For 2009 she was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team, the CoSIDA Academic All-District VI First Team, and the 2009 Mizuno Invitational All-Tournament Team.
Freshman Nancy Cole earned All-C-USA Freshman Team accolades, while ranking third on the squad with a .266 hitting percentage.
Rice, under sixth-year head coach Genny Volpe, posted a 23-9 record in 2009 and won its first-ever Conference USA Volleyball Championship. The Owls also played in the NCAA Championship for the second-consecutive year and third time overall.
2010 looks to be just as promising as Rice returns three starters from the 2009 squad including All-Conference USA First Team players, Meredith Schamun, Lam, and sophomore Ashleigh McCord, the squad's top outside hitter at 3.92 kills per set.