Shelby Livingstone
Maria Lysaker

Women's Volleyball Kenny Bybee (kab10@rice.edu)

Preview: Volleyball Heads to Baylor Classic

Will face UTRGV on Friday, No. 15 Baylor Saturday

Match 8 | vs. UTRGV | Friday, Sept. 7, 3 p.m.
Location:
 Waco, Texas (Ferrell Center)
Video Stream: N/A
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Series: Rice leads, 7-0 (Last Meeting: 2000)
Match 9 | at No. 15 Baylor | Saturday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m.
Location:
 Waco, Texas (Ferrell Center)
Video Stream: Baylor Volleyball Facebook
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Series: Rice leads, 23-17 (Last Meeting: 2015)
WACO, Texas - Following a tough five-set loss to Texas State on Tuesday, the Owls return to action this weekend for a pair of matches at the Baylor Classic. Rice will first face UTRGV on Friday (3 p.m.), before taking on No. 15 Baylor on Saturday (7 p.m.). Rice holds a 7-0 all-time advantage over UTRGV (formerly UTPA) and a 23-17 edge on the Bears. Saturday's match versus the Bears will be streamed for free on the Baylor Volleyball Facebook account (link above). 

Tickets for this weekend will be $5 for general admission and $3 for groups of 12 or more.
 
NOTES
  • Statistically, the Owls lead all of Conference USA in digs per set (16.79) and opponents hitting percentage (.150). They also allow the fewest aces per frame (0.93). 
  • Rice junior middle blocker Grace Morgan is the only player in C-USA to rank in the top five in both hitting percentage (3rd-.416) and blocks per set (4th-1.15). 
  • Junior libero Lee Ann Cunningham ranks second in C-USA in digs per set (4.82). The Louisville, Ky. native oved past Karolina Zelinka (1996-00) into ninth place on the Rice all-time digs list this past Tuesday with 1,226 career digs currently. 
  • As of Sept. 3, Rice was receiving votes (13) in VolleyballMag.com's Mid-Major Poll. 
  • Rice returns seven starters and nine letterwinners from last year's team and will be incorporating five newcomers.
  • The Owls were picked to finish second in the Conference USA Coaches' Preseason Poll, behind only reigning C-USA champion WKU. 
  • Lennon and Morgan were each named to the 2018 Preseason All-Conference USA Team. Morgan earned a spot on the C-USA First Team in 2017 while Lennon was a Second Team selection and was named the Co-Freshman of the Year.  
  • Rice head coach Genny Volpe is in her 15th season with the Owls and is the school's all-time leader in totals wins (267) and winning percentage (.606). She notched her seventh, 20-plus win season for the Owls in 2017. 
  • For the second time in as many years, Rice Volleyball's recruiting class received Highest Honorable Mention honors by the organization PrepVolleyball.com. The Owls were one of 25 recruiting classes that "just missed" the nation's top-30 classes. This year's class features middle blocker Anota Adekunle (Humble, Texas), setter Carly Graham (Conroe, Texas), libero Tia Grippo (Newport Beach, Calif.), outside hitter Hannah Lopez (San Antonio) and libero Isabel Wiatt (North Hollywood, California). 
  • After this weekend the Owls will travel to Nacogdoches on Sept. 11 to take on the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks at 5 p.m. (CT) on ESPN+. Rice then returns to Tudor Fieldhouse to host their second home tournament of the season, which will include Ole Miss (Sept. 14), Austin Peay (Sept. 15), and McNeese St. (Sept. 15).

-RiceOwls.com-
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