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Thursday, August 18, 2022 — Houston, TX

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Cole and Murphy awarded C-USA Players of the Week

(09/14/12 12:00am)

Rice volleyball players junior Megan Murphy and senior Nancy Cole were named Conference USA Players of the Week. Although the season just started, these two star athletes have played impressive games to earn such accolades. Cole was awarded Offensive Player of the Week, and Murphy was named Setter of the Week for the second week in a row. During the course of last week, Cole executed 47 kills. Then, last weekend at the Magnolia Invitational held at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss., where Rice played the University of Mississippi, Cole competed fiercely to earn the 1,000th kill of her collegiate career, becoming just the 13th player in Rice women's volleyball history to do so. Murphy has been leading not only the Owls but C-USA in number of assists and earned herteam spot by contributing 146 assists in just the past week. As the Lady Owls prepare for their last non-conference tournament this weekend, we were able to catch up with Cole and Murphy and ask them a few questions about themselves and the Lady Owls Volleyball team. Rice Thresher: So both of you girls were named to the preseason All-Conference USA Team. Tell me your reactions to the announcement. Nancy Cole: I was honored. It just made me extremely excited for the season and I look forward to the achievements that I can help our team accomplish this year. Megan Murphy: I was pretty excited because I've never gotten anything like this before, but I'm just looking forward to the season. Thresher: Megan, you have been given the honor as C-USA Setter of the Week for two weeks in a row. What do you have to do this week to make it three weeks in a row? Murphy: Well, we're more focused on the wins. This weekend is very important to our team to get three solid wins and to get better. We start conference play next week and we want to go in with some momentum. Thresher: Nancy, congrats on the 1,000th kill. So how does it feel to be a part of such an elite club for Rice volleyball? Cole: It feels amazing. I'm gonna keep going now to continue to help my team out. It is a great feeling to know that all my teammates are behind me and supporting me. We all root each other on and we're such a great team this year and have such a great chemistry. Thresher: So you guys are projected to come out 2nd in conference this year. How do you feel about the team so far, considering the games already played? Murphy: I think we're definitely not to where we need to be right now in terms of our wins and losses, but I definitely think we're learning everyday and getting better in time for conference play. Cole: I agree with Megan, but I also think it's that all these tournaments and all these games have been learning experiences for us and we are definitely trying to improve everyday in practice, our games and matches that we have won and lost. Thresher: What has been your best volleyball moment while being on the Owls team? Cole: Mine is always the same. When I was a freshman and playing and having the conference tournament here at Rice. We beat Tulsa out at the tournament and then went to the NCAA tournament, which was definitely fun. Murphy: Same for me. I redshirted my freshman year and didn't play, but it was awesome to have the conference tournament at home and win it in front of our fans.

Volleyball downs Sam Houston, heads to Ole Miss

(09/07/12 12:00am)

Last Friday, Rice University's volleyball team took on Louisiana State University at the Tiger Classic Invitational that was moved from Baton Rouge to Rice due to complications stemming from Hurricane Isaac hitting the Gulf Coast. "Playing these matches is the most important thing, and the fact that we could host the event is amazing," Head Coach Genny Volpe said. "I cannot thank the people in the athletic department enough, mainly the facilities crew for helping make this happen. With football's home opener, they have been working so hard to prepare for that. So, their cooperation is very much appreciated. I'm so happy the other schools could work it out and make it down to Houston." Rice played LSU at 10 a.m. on Friday and later went on to play Purdue University at 5 p.m. in Fox Gym. Purdue, currently ranked at an impressive No. 7 in the nation, served as a formidable opponent for the Owls. Volpe made it clear prior to the start of the invitational that the focus would first be directed toward LSU. "By playing the four matches we have played so far, we have learned a lot about ourselves," Volpe said. "We have learned that we have moments of top-25 performances, and then lose our focus at times during the match." The Owls lost to LSU 3-0. The game against Purdue was close but the Owls trailed 3-2 by the end. Despite Purdue's national standing, Rice held its own and proved itself a formidable opponent. Strong performances in this game came from seniors Nancy Cole and Laurie McNamara, juniors Mariah Riddlesprigger and Megan Murphy, and sophomores Jillian Humphrey, Daniela Arenas and Lizzy Bache.Cole, who is well on her way to reaching a 1,000-kill milestone, added excitement to the game as she led the team with 15 kills, leaving her 46 kills away from her goal. Murphy contributed 50 assists, which marked the first over-50 assist game for Rice in this season. This achievement by Murphy was no doubt the reason she was named to the All-Tournament team. Humphrey also set a season-high with 14 kills. The final match of the Invitational was against Washington University, and the Owls lost 3-0. "The team definitely feels like we can compete with the best in the country," Volpe said. "After the LSU loss, I challenged the team and some particular players to step up, and they did. Both matches against No. 7 Purdue and No. 12 Washington were eye openers, that we are able to compete at that level. We just need to learn how to sustain a high level of play throughout an entire match." The Owls later rebounded on Tuesday to beat Sam Houston State University 3-0. "I thought the team played relatively average, but still won in three straight sets," Volpe said about the victory. "That just tells me what we are capable of. Nancy Cole continues to shine and lead our offensive charge, and she did that against Sam Houston. Liz Bache is also improving and had a good solid match as well." Rice will travel to compete in Oxford, Miss. at the Magnolia Invitational hosted by The University of Mississippi. Rice will face off against The University of North Dakota on the first day of the invitational at 10 a.m. and Ole Miss later that night at 7 p.m. The final game of the Owls' weekend is tomorrow against Alabama A&M University at 10:30 a.m. For Nancy Cole, it is highly plausible that she will reach her collegiate career milestone this weekend at the Ole Miss Tournament. Currently, she is 21 kills away from that goal. "It is definitely a milestone that should be recognized by all, and I think it also shows how much of an impact she has had since her freshman year." Volpe said, "Not many players reach that number, and she is proving each and every day she is an elite player, amongst the best in the country." According to Volpe, fans should also expect to see considerable improvement in both serving and attention to detail. If these adjustments stick, the team could be primed for a hot streak beginning this weekend.

The Sammys

(05/23/12 12:00am)

From murderous playwrights to misplaced Shakespearean characters, a quarrel between high schoolers to a debate between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, Rice University Theater 2011-12 dabbled in everything ordinary and extraordinary. Though the actors on stage captivated audiences with memorable performances, they were the tip of the iceberg that made this year's Rice theater season successful.

Women's tennis drops close match against TCU

(04/20/12 12:00am)

The women's tennis team certainly knows how to keep its fans on their toes. Last week, the team played Southern Methodist University on Saturday, April 14 and Texas Christian University on Sunday, April 15. The back-to-back games had two very different outcomes on the same weekend. Taking on SMU in Dallas, the Owls won 6-0. The teams competed in a strictly singles competition.

Women's Tennis sweeps away Texas Pan-American

(04/13/12 12:00am)

The women's tennis team played their last home game of the season against the University of Texas-Pan American on April 7. The game was a great victory for Rice University after two difficult losses the week prior, the first in a close tie-breaking match against the University of Missouri, 4-3, and the second against Conference USA competitor University of Tulsa, 5-2. After last week's matches, Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt was highly impressed with the team's perseverance in training.

Women's Tennis falls to Tulsa and Missouri

(04/05/12 12:00am)

After a rush to the top 30 in the polls, the women's tennis team was brought back to Earth last weekend with a couple of tough losses at home. With the University of Missouri on Friday, Rice took the early doubles point as the Owls' were up 1-0. However, the Tigers roared back and took four of the six singles to come up with a huge upset against the Owls as they squeaked by with a score of 4-3. Even in the defeat, freshman Natalie Beazant nailed another win for the Owls as she won in a three-set thriller against Missouri's Nina Pantic.

Tennis ready for battle

(03/30/12 12:00am)

It was a fantastic end to the week for the women's tennis team on Thursday, March 22. The Owls started the day off with a 6-1 victory against Texas State University at Jake Hess tennis stadium. Doubles pairs freshman Natalie Beazant and sophomore Dominique Harmath, senior Ana Guzman and junior Katie Gater, and sophomore Kimberly Anicete and freshman Stephanie Nguyen swept the doubles matches to gain an early 1-0 lead. They then won five out of their six singles matches to capture the victory by a score of 6-1. The Owls almost swept, but Gater dropped her match.

Women's Tennis reaches highest ranking in history

(03/07/12 12:00am)

While most of Rice spent last week kicking back and relaxing on spring break, the women's tennis team was hard at work on the court. The Owls had three prestigious victories over Oklahoma University, Brigham Young University and the University of South Florida. Despite having started with a loss against Texas A&M, Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt stayed positive.