The following were noted at the most recent meeting of the Faculty Senate on Nov. 2.
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While the Conference USA Cross Country championship has been characterized by the expected, 2011 was a different story for Rice, and not for the better. While the women expected to compete for first place and the men expected to finish in second or third, the Owls came away disappointed with their results from Monday's C-USA championship at the Wildcat Golf Club in Houston, Texas.
Proposition on student loans goes to vote
The following were noted at the most recent meeting of the Student Association on Oct. 31.
Dear Athena and Ares,
If the fans of Owls soccer could take any solace in the team's lackluster performance over the last four games leading up to Oct. 21, it was that the team's final three matches were against three of the five worst teams in Conference USA. Surely this reprieve from the top teams in C-USA would allow Rice to se cure a bid in the postseason conference tour nament and perhaps a top-four seed. But un like conventional wisdom, which would have seen the Owls dominate the first two of those three matches, Rice lost both, first to East Carolina University (9-6-1, 4-5-0 C-USA) by a score of 3-1, and then to Marshall University (4-11-3, 2-6-2 C-USA) in a 1-0 shutout.
With just three conference matches remaining, the soccer team is currently looking at possibly missing out on the conference postseason tournament. What started off as a 3-1-0 record in Conference USA action has now devolved into a 4-3-1 record that leaves Rice in a three-way tie for fifth place and, in terms of a berth in the C-USA Championship Tournament, is on the outside looking in.
Coaches across the entire spectrum of sports continually yearn for their team to exceed expectations. The coaches of the men's and women's cross country teams need not yearn any longer, as both contingents of runners ran well at the Houston Baptist University/Puma Invitational on Oct. 7 and at the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 16.
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With the Conference USA Championship Meet less than a month away, both the men's and women's teams have hit the part of their schedule that puts them up against top regional and national competition. The men will face the top teams in the nation on Oct. 16, when they will head to the Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. On the other hand, the women faced their top competition last Friday at the Notre Dame Invitational, where they took 14th place out of 28 teams. Also in attendance were third-ranked Florida State University, which took first place at the meet; 11th-ranked University of Arkansas; seventh-ranked University of New Mexico; and 20th-ranked Pennsylvania State University – just to name a few. If that wasn't enough, the weather made the course even more difficult for Rice. Used to the heat and humidity of Houston, along with a lack of rain thus far, the Owls had to adjust to the howling 20- to 30-mile-per-hour winds and damp conditions due to rain earlier in the week. Still, the Owls persevered and were able to turn in respectable times.
13-8-4. That's the record of the soccer team since Head Coach Nicky Adams took the helm back in September 2010, a 25-match record that presents a stark contrast to the 6-10-3 record the Owls endured during the 2009 season. Two of those 13 wins came this past weekend as Rice took to the road to face Southern Methodist University (7-5-0, 3-1-0 Conference USA) on Saturday and the University of Tulsa (7-4- 2, 1-2-1 C-USA) on Sunday. With the Owls and Mustangs having nearly identical records, the fans at Westcott Field in Dallas were expecting a close matchup featuring two of the conference's top defenses, which is exactly what they got. SMU came into the tussle very confident after knocking off the 19th-ranked University of Central Florida, while the Owls were hoping to bounce back from a tough 1-0 loss to the ninth-ranked University of Memphis. After 45 minutes, the score remained deadlocked at zero, with SMU having a slight advantage in terms of total shots and corner kicks. Freshman goalkeeper Amy Czyz stonewalled the Mustangs' attempts to put points on the scoreboard, but the Owls' attacking forwards were unable to capitalize on a few first-half breakups, pushing the ball forward too often when the numbers were not to their advantage. Adams spoke about the Owls' initial nerves that kept them from setting up better opportunities for goals.
If one has watched enough interviews with coaches, it's easy to see that there are two common views on having extended amounts of rest between games or matches: the first being that too much rest will get the athletes out of their "rhythm" and cause the team to get off to a slow start in their upcoming match. Other coaches feel that rest will be logically beneficial and allow the lineup to come out firing on all cylinders.
With the women's cross country team posting a narrow win over Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi at the 36th Annual Justin F. Cooper Memorial Rice Invitational, it was the Islanders' turn to host the meet and take revenge by taking home top honors at their home meet, the Islander Splash. However, sophomore Farah Madanay had other ideas, as she took first place for the first time in her collegiate career, crossing the finish line of the three-mile race in 18:27. Senior Halsey Fowler, who missed the Rice Invitational on Sept. 16, finished fifth overall last Friday, 18 seconds behind Madanay.
While the fall season plays second fiddle to the spring season in collegiate tennis, the competition at last weekend's Midland Racquet Club Collegiate Invitational in Midland, Texas provided a telling barometer for how well the men's and women's tennis teams expect to stack up against regional schools. For the men, the result was relatively better than last year's Midland Invite, with three players advancing to the winner's bracket, compared to two last year.
It was a tale of two races at the 36th Justin F. Cooper Memorial Rice Invitiational, one in which expectations of a first-place finish were met and another in which unexpected results were produced.
While football, basketball and baseball may garner attention-grabbing headlines week in and week out, it's difficult to find two other teams at Rice that have been more consistent in winning than the women's and men's cross country teams. With experienced squads returning for both teams, there are expectations of the Owls sweeping the Conference USA Championship on Oct. 31 at Wildcat Country Club in Houston.
A 20-year-old posing as a Rice student was discovered last Tuesday after signing up to participate in an upcoming debate as part of the Baker Institute Student Forum.