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Rice volleyball’s season came to a close on Friday, as the No. 5 seed Owls lost a five set thriller to No. 4 seed Baylor University in the second round of the NCAA tournament (25-16, 22-25, 23-25, 25-14, 11-15). The loss ended the Owls tournament run and hopes at their first Sweet Sixteen berth in program history. After the game, head coach Genny Volpe was proud of her team despite the loss.
In the first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament, the No. 5 seed Rice defeated the University of Colorado Boulder in four sets to advance to the second round. After the 3-1 victory, head coach Genny Volpe was thrilled with the team's win against a tough opponent.
For the fifth season in a row, Rice is playing volleyball in December. On Sunday, the No. 20 Owls were announced as a No. 5 seed in the quarter of the bracket hosted by the University of Louisville when the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball committee announced the NCAA tournament field. The Owls will start off tournament play in the Waco regional against the University of Colorado on Dec. 1. After receiving their bid, head coach Genny Volpe said that the team is excited and ready to compete.
Rice volleyball took care of business in the first round of the Conference USA tournament, sweeping the No.7 seed Florida International University (26-24, 25-22, 25-18). With the win, the No. 2 seed Owls advanced to the semifinals where they will face University of Texas at El-Paso. After the win, head coach Genny Volpe was happy with the sweep and moving on to the semifinals.
Even though they’ve won 48 of their last 50 conference regular season games, the Rice volleyball team has not won a Conference USA tournament since 2018. After three straight years as the conference’s runners-up, the Owls will finally look to reverse their fortunes in what will be their final postseason in C-USA. This year, the No. 22 Owls enter the tournament with an almost perfect conference record of 13-1, and 23-3 overall. According to head coach Genny Volpe, the team is excited to jump into postseason volleyball.
The Rice swim team had a lot to celebrate on Senior Day as they waved goodbye to the Tulane University Green Wave after Friday’s dual meet. In route to their 87 point victory (144-57), the first Rice victory in the American Athletic Conference as the swim team moved a year earlier than other sports, the Owls claimed gold in all 11 events and senior backstroker Zoe Spitz was able to put a bow on top of the day with a new school record. After the meet, head coach Seth Huston said he was pleased with the performance.
In the true spirit of Halloween, Rice Stadium resembled a haunted house with proverbial carnage all over the field following Saturday’s loss. Going into the game as 15 point favorites against the last-place team in Conference USA, who had fired their head coach six days prior, all indications pointed to the Owls celebrating Homecoming with a resounding win. But not only did the University of North Carolina at Charlotte spoil the Homecoming festivities, they did so with a 33 point victory, defeating the Owls 56-23. Head coach Mike Bloomgren was very disappointed with the loss after the game.
Junior defender Jaden Roberts picked the perfect time for her first career goal. With 10 seconds on the clock and the Owls’ Senior Night game tied at zero, graduate forward Grace Collins lined up for a corner kick and sent it into a sea of Owls and Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers. The ball bounced to Roberts, whose shot found the back of the net, sending the Owls into celebration as the clock hit zero. After the game, Roberts recounted the dream goal.
When the Owls dropped the first two sets against No. 18 Baylor University on Wednesday, it felt like the same position they had found themselves in numerous times in a season that’s already featured five comeback wins. But instead of the Owls pulling off their third reverse-sweep of the year, the Bears won set three to clinch the sweep (18-25, 22-25, 17-25). Entering the match ranked No. 22 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll and No. 10 in the Rating Percentage Index, the loss ended the Owls’ 11 game win streak. Following the match, head coach Genny Volpe was disappointed by the Owls’ inability to match Baylor’s efficiency.
The middle blocker position is known for what its name implies: blocking the middle. Middle blockers are usually the first line of defense, quickly reading and blocking up the opposing team’s attacks. But Anota Adekunle, a fifth-year senior from Humble, Texas, transcends the typical middle blocker role by adding a strong offensive presence in addition to her defense. When asked about the position she’s played since middle school, Adekunle said that the middle blockers’ role is usually to act as a distraction on offense.
On Sunday, a flock of birds rose victorious above Tudor fieldhouse and it wasn’t a band of blue jays. After five intense sets, the Owls team took down No. 17 Creighton University on a second match point, capping off a tournament which started off with a reverse sweep of Big 12 opponent Kansas State University. After missing out on the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Top 25 last week by one spot, the defining weekend was enough to jump the Rice volleyball team to No. 23 on the rankings.
After receiving the 30th most votes in last week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association poll, the Rice volleyball team narrowly missed an opportunity to cement their top-25 status in a nail biting loss to No.18 University of Oregon . After winning the first set, the Owls fought off an Oregon comeback to force a fifth set, where they lost 15-11. Following the loss, head coach Genny Volpe said that she was pleased with the performance against such a high caliber team.
After practice Aug. 23, Rice football announced that No. 5 would be their QB1 for the start of the 2022 season. Wiley Green, an Irving, Texas native, who will start the Owls’ opener for the third time in his career, said that he is grateful for another opportunity in the starting role.
If you’ve followed Rice soccer over the last four years, there’s a good chance you’ve come across the name Delaney Schultz. Since first stepping foot on the Rice campus, the fifth-year senior midfielder has left her mark on the soccer program, earning all-Conference honors three times and helping lead the team to the Sweet 16 of the 2021 NCAA tournament.
Two days after Scottie Scheffler donned the infamous green jacket by winning the 2022 Masters, the Rice Golf team took to the course to play in the Bayou City Collegiate Classic, their final tournament of the regular season. Over the course of two days, the Owls finished in sixth place out of 16 teams, ending the week 31 strokes over par. Following the tournament, head coach Justin Emil said he was pleased with how the team competed facing a tough course and weather conditions.
Over the weekend, the Rice baseball team was swept by conference rival and fellow Owls, Florida Atlantic University at Reckling Park. The hosts were unable to steal a game from the No. 3 ranked team in Conference USA, losing 9-4 on Friday, 6-5 on Saturday, and 7-1 on Sunday, bringing their overall season record to 8-21.
Last weekend, freshman Arielle Hayon capped off her memorable season over the weekend at the NCAA women’s swimming and diving championships. Hayon was the only Owl to make the trip to Atlanta, Georgia and made her NCAA debut in the 100 and 200-yard butterfly.
The hot conference streak came to an end for the Rice women's basketball team on Thursday afternoon when they lost to the east division’s No. 1 seed University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the second round of the Conference USA tournament. Coming off of an 18 point victory over Marshall University, the Owls gave the 49ers a scare throughout their quarterfinal matchup, but in the end, the Owls fell short 59-53.
The Rice women's basketball team arrived in Frisco, TX with a bang, defeating Marshall University by a score of 80-62 in their opening match of the Conference USA tournament. In a rematch of the January contest where the Owls fell to the Thundering Herd at home, the roles reversed with Rice coming out on top, giving them their seventh win in the last eight games. Rice now moves on to tomorrow’s quarterfinal against the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Following the game, head coach Lindsay Edmonds said that the win showed how much her team has grown this season.
Back in late January, any prospects of success in the Conference USA tournament for the Rice women’s basketball team were bleak. The Owls were on a five-game losing streak to start conference play. Fresh off of an agonizing quadruple-overtime loss to the current No. 1 seed in the East division, the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, the Owls had some work to do to get to the position they wanted to be in come March. According to head coach Lindsay Edmonds, that is exactly what they did. Now, the Owls have won six of the last seven games and have secured the fourth seed in the West division going into this week’s C-USA tournament.