Aug. 25, 2011
Rice Invitational - Tournament Central
The Rice Owls volleyball squad opens up its 2011 season this weekend when it hosts the Rice Invitational. The Owls' first match of the year is against the Blue Hens of Delaware on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. Rice also plays number-six ranked Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Cardinal and the Blue Hens face off on Saturday for a 4 p.m. match. All matches occur inside Tudor Fieldhouse.
Tickets for volleyball matches feature general admission seating for $6.00 for adults and $4.00 for youths (age 3-17). Senior citizens (62+) tickets are $4.00 as well. Call 713-348-6930 to make arrangements for group pricing.
Head Coach Genny Volpe
Rice head volleyball coach Genny Volpe is in her eighth season directing the Owls' volleyball program. Volpe has an overall school and career record of 129-86. She has led Rice to all three of its NCAA championship appearances (2004, 2008, and 2009).
Volpe came to Rice University after spending three years as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Texas A&M. Prior to Texas A&M, Volpe was an assistant at SMU from 1996 to 2000. She spent the 1995 season as an assistant coach for the Owls under Henry Chen.
Cole Preseason All-C-USA
Junior Nancy Cole was named to the All-Conference USA Preseason Team as seleted by the league's head volleyball coaches. Cole, a middle blocker from Pasadena, Texas, was an All-C-USA Second-Team pick in 2010. She was also on the AVCA All-America honorable mention list and the All-Midwest Region squad. Cole led the Owls with 373 kills, .321 hitting percentage (which ranked ninth in C-USA), and 106 blocks.
Head Genny Volpe welcomes five newcomers to the Owl program, including three from the Houston-region. The class of 2015 includes, Lizzy Bache (MB/OH, Montgomery, Texas), Jillian Humphrey (MB, Shoreacres, Texas), Daniela Arenas (DS/L, Cypress, Texas), Dana Edwards (S, Upland, Calif.), and Noelle Whitlock (OH, Riverside, Calif.).
The Owls posted a 16-16 overall season record a year ago and a 11-9 mark in Conference USA.
Besides facing sixth-ranked Stanford, the Owls will also play at number-10 ranked Hawai'i, and number-23 Tulsa (twice). Furthermore, another opponent, Cincinnati received 22 votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll.
Rice hosts the Rice Invitational II on Sept. 2-3. Competing teams include HBU, UTSA, and Georgia Tech. The Owls then head to Honolulu, Hawai'i to play Hawai'I, Cincinnati, and Pacific (Sept. 8-10).