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(17 hours ago)
There’s no denying it: Rice women’s basketball had a rocky start to the 2019-20 season. Coming off a historic season last year in which the team won 21 straight games and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005, this year’s team registered a middling 5-6 record against non-Conference USA opponents to start the season.
As the semester wraps up, it’s a good time to take stock of how Rice Athletics is doing as a whole. At this moment, we believe that there is good reason to be happy and optimistic with how the Owls are performing now and will perform in the future. On a sport by sport basis, Rice sports teams are ending the decade at a peak.
Volleyball will compete in the NCAA tournament after receiving an at-large bid to play against the University of Oklahoma in the first round during Sunday night’s Selection Show. Transportation will not be provided for Rice students to the match against OU, but the possibility exists a student bus will travel to College Station on Friday if the Owls win their first round match, according to Rice director of marketing David Pillen.
Volleyball won two out of three matches and lost in the final to Western Kentucky University this weekend during the Conference USA Championships. WKU receives an automatic bid to compete in the NCAA Championships, but Rice is likely to receive an at-large bid to compete because of its impressive RPI (No. 14 nationally).
Rice football won its first game of the season, defeating Middle Tennessee State University 31-28 on Saturday in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The Owls are 1-9 on the season and have lost 19 out of 22 games for the last two years with Mike Bloomgren at the helm. Rice now stands at No. 6 in Conference USA’s West Division.
When Rice swimming challenges the University of Houston in the Phill Hansel Invitational this Thursday to Saturday, the team will be competing in its first tournament of the season against UH. Rice will face the Cougars twice more: during a Quad Meet held at UH from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 and in the First Chance Meet on Feb. 15.
Rice women’s club soccer will travel to compete in the Championship Division of the women’s club soccer national tournament from Nov. 21 - 23 in Round Rock, Texas. The Owls qualified for the national tournament by placing first in the Texas Club Soccer League Southeast League and claiming the Region IV South tournament title. During the regular season, the team finished undefeated.
Rice soccer tied the University of North Texas 0-0 after two overtimes on Friday evening, claiming the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Conference USA Championship. Rice holds an overall season record of nine wins, five losses and three draws; in C-USA play, the Owls have six wins, one loss and three draws.
Rice football fell to the University of Southern Mississippi, 20-6, on Saturday afternoon at Rice Stadium. Rice has lost all eight games it has played this season, including four games in Conference USA. Since head coach Mike Bloomgren took over the reigns last season, the Owls have two wins and 19 losses.
Rice soccer earned two wins over Conference USA opponents this weekend at Holloway Field, beating Marshall University 2-1 Friday evening and Western Kentucky University 1-0 Sunday afternoon. Rice remains undefeated against C-USA foes and now holds an overall record of eight wins, four losses and two draws.
Senior forward Louise Stephens scored a dramatic, game-deciding goal from a corner kick and Rice soccer earned a 1-0 victory over Conference USA foe University of Alabama, Birmingham on Sunday afternoon at Holloway Field. With the win, the Owls now hold a record of six wins, four losses and one draw on the season. Rice remains undefeated in four matches against C-USA opposition.
Although five varsity athletic teams are currently in season for Rice athletics, soccer might be the most entertaining team at Rice to watch. Here’s why I recommend you watch a Rice soccer match:
Rice football fell short against Louisiana Tech University in overtime, 23-20, on Saturday night at Rice Stadium in the team’s first game against a Conference USA opponent. The Owls currently have zero wins and five losses on the season.
For her groundbreaking play during the first four weeks of the season, junior outside hitter Nicole Lennon has been named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week four times. No other player in Rice history has earned that award four times in an entire season. According to Lennon, staking her claim in Owls history creates an evolving challenge.
Eleven teams are set to play in another season of Rice women’s flag football competition following Hanszen College’s 13-6 victory over McMurtry College last December in the powderpuff championship game.
Brian Lee, first-year head coach of Rice soccer, grew up in Scotland. According to Lee, growing up in a country widely known for its youth and professional soccer leagues led to his indoctrination in the sport.
Earlier this week, freshman swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger traveled to London to prepare for the World Para Swimming Championships, an international competition designed for athletes with disabilities, during which she will compete in five separate events.
Head soccer coach Brian Lee kickstarted his Rice tenure with two wins in two matches last week. The Owls defeated Oral Roberts University on the road at Case Soccer Complex on Thursday before beating the University of Houston at Holloway Field on Sunday.
Rice athletics’ decision to construct a three million dollar indoor recreation facility encompassing the Beer Bike track has sparked discussion among members of the Rice community on the decision making process and future usage.
After earning victory in the Conference USA Championship final for the sixth time in seven years, the Rice Owls women’s tennis team is set to compete in both team and individual postseason play at the NCAA Championship.