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It might be a bit of an exaggeration to describe any Rice sports program as a powerhouse. But to the extent that a Conference USA school can be a powerhouse, the Rice baseball team was one for over two decades. Between 1995 and 2017, the Owls made the NCAA postseason every single year, including a national championship in 2003, and their seven College World Series appearances (all since 1997) are tied for the twentieth most of any program. At the very least, they were the dominant force in their conference, finishing atop the conference standings every year from 1997-2015, with the exception of 2009, when they placed second. Now, only five years removed from the end of that streak, the Owls are coming off of a season where they finished tenth out of C-USA’s 12 teams, failing to qualify even for the C-USA tournament, much less the NCAA postseason.
Rice fired baseball head coach Matt Bragga, the school announced on Monday. The move comes on the heels of a season in which the Owls placed tenth out of the 12 teams in Conference USA, failing to make the C-USA tournament for the first time ever. In his three seasons at the helm, the Owls have gone 51-76-1 (25-36-1). According to athletic director Joe Karlgaard, the lack of progress shown during Bragga’s tenure prompted the change.
Rice has hired former North Carolina State University associate head coach Lindsay Edmonds to take over the women’s basketball program, the school announced on Friday. The hiring of Edmonds ends Rice’s search to replace former head coach Tina Langley, who left the Owls earlier this month to take the head coaching job at the University of Washington. According to Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard, Edmonds is exactly the kind of coach the program needs right now.
Two years ago, Brian Lee was celebrating a Southeastern Conference soccer title with his team at Louisiana State University. Lee was coming off of his 14th season in Baton Rouge, where he had led LSU’s women’s soccer team to six NCAA tournament appearances and had just been named a finalist for National Coach of the Year.
The Rice soccer team defeated Old Dominion University on Tuesday night by a score of 3-0, to advance to the semifinals of the Conference USA tournament. The Owls got out to an early lead, with two goals in the game’s first 30 minutes, before putting the Monarchs away with a third goal midway through the second half. After the game, head coach Brian Lee said that, despite the 3-0 win, the Owls had to fight past a good Old Dominion team to get the win.
Both Rice track and field teams were in College Station over the weekend for the Texas A&M Invitational track meet. Six Owls won events at the meet, three each from the men’s and women’s teams, and 14 Owls had top-3 finishes. According to men’s head coach Jon Warren, the Owls put on a strong show against tough competition.
Rice women’s basketball head coach Tina Langley is leaving the Owls to accept the head coaching position at the University of Washington, it was announced on Monday. Langley leaves the Owls with the highest winning percentage in program history. Rice must now find a replacement to take over a program that won the Women’s National Invitational Tournament title just over a week ago.
Rice volleyball knocked off No. 2 University of Texas on Tuesday night, closing out their regular season with a shocking upset. The win handed Texas their first loss of the season, and capped off an impressive regular season for the 14-4 Owls, who have now won 13 of their last 14 matches. After the match, head coach Genny Volpe said that she was thrilled with the improbable win.
The Rice soccer team downed no. 12 Texas A&M University at Holloway Field on Monday in dramatic fashion. The Owls fell behind 2-0 early, but they were able to climb back into the game with two goals of their own to tie it and force overtime. In the final seconds of overtime, senior defender Caleigh Page sent a shot into the back of the net, giving the Owls a 3-2 win, and securing the upset. After the game, head coach Brian Lee said that it was an important win for the Rice soccer program.
In a week that saw the NCAA championships in both cross country and track and field, three Owls earned All-American honors across the two events. At the track and field championships, which were held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, juniors throwers Erna Gunnarsdóttir and Nick Hicks each took second team All-American honors, with top-15 performances in the shot put and hammer throw respectively. Sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes, meanwhile, placed No. 6 in the 5.000 meter, earning her first team All-American honors. Forbes followed up her performance with a No. 19 place finish in the 6,000 meter at the cross country championships, which earned her All-American honors as well.
After barely escaping last night with a win, Rice women’s basketball fell to Middle Tennessee State University in the final seconds of yesterday’s Conference USA tournament championship game. The Owls managed to bring it to within one point during the final minute but ultimately lost the contest 68-65. Head coach Tina Langley congratulated the Blue Raiders program after the game.
The women’s basketball team held off Old Dominion University on Friday night to advance to the finals of the Conference USA tournament. Rice held the lead all game, but a late Monarchs comeback tested the Owls, who held on to win by a score of 62-60. According to head coach Tina Langley, the Owls proved their character with such a gritty win in the final seconds.
Rice volleyball beat the University of Texas at San Antonio in both legs of a two-match series in San Antonio this week. On Sunday, the Owls defeated the Roadrunners in five closely contested sets, while on Monday they won in straight sets. The Owls have now won all eight of their matches since conference play began, and are 9-3 on the season.
The Rice Women’s track and field team placed No. 4 out of the 12 teams at the Conference USA Indoor Track and Field Championships over the weekend in their first meet of the season. The Owls finished the meet with a total of 75.50 points, 33.50 shy of first place, the University of Southern Mississippi. Sophomore distance runner Grace Forbes stole the show for the Owls, setting a school and meet record in the one-mile run, and scoring more points than any other participant over the weekend.
The Rice baseball team’s 2020 season lasted just over three weeks before the start of the pandemic brought it to a halt, but that was enough time to raise some questions about the team’s direction going forward. In 16 games, as opposed to their originally scheduled 55, the Owls managed just two wins and 14 losses. For a program that is just three years removed from a streak of 26 consecutive winning seasons under former head coach Wayne Graham, last season’s results were alarming.
The Rice volleyball team began conference play with back-to-back matches against Louisiana Tech University on Sunday and Monday, winning both in straight sets. The wins improve Rice’s record to 3-3 on the season, and give them a strong start to conference play. According to junior setter Carly Graham, the team came into the series energized, and it showed on the court.
A lot has changed for the Rice volleyball team since the end of their 2019 season, which saw them earn their first top-25 ranking and the first win in an NCAA tournament game in program history. Since then, the Owls have seen several key players leave. Of their nine most-used players last year, only three remain on the roster this season. Of the five Owls to earn first or second team all-conference honors in 2019, only two remain.
The Rice volleyball team opened their season this weekend with a two-match home-and-home series against the University of Houston. The Owls split the series with the Cougars, winning Saturday’s opener three sets to two, before dropping Sunday’s match in straight sets.
During a season with a missed quadruple-doink field goal and a victory over a top-ranked team in the nation, the Rice football season is officially over after a 21-16 loss to the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Finishing with a 2-3 record, the Owls were one win shy of a bowl game bid. The season was defined by its ever-changing schedule, but head coach Mike Bloomgren did not anticipate adding another game to the schedule.
The Rice Women’s Basketball team is just three games into the 2020-2021 season, but their year is already off to a promising start. The Owls are 3-0 and are beating their opponents by an average margin of 20 points per game. According to head coach Tina Langley, their strong start is an indication of how much the team has grown.