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When she first arrived at Rice four years ago, senior outside hitter Nicole Lennon knew she wanted to find a way to immortalize her career. Now, as she heads into the stretch of her fifth and final season at Rice, Lennon has found a way to do just that. After more than four seasons playing a key role in bringing the Owls to the national stage, the two-time Conference USA player of the year is closing in on Rice’s all-time kills record.
Just a few years ago, nobody could have guessed that Mijke Roelfsema’s soccer journey would have taken her to Rice, least of all herself. Now, the senior defender is front and center as the Rice soccer team attempts to fight its way back to the NCAA tournament, after their first-ever sweet sixteen appearance last season. Roelfsema’s long and winding soccer journey, which now has her as the focal point for the Owls defense, began over 5,000 miles away when she was just five years old living in Holland.
Junior swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger took home the silver medal in the SM7 200-meter individual medley on Friday at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, and followed up her appearance on the podium with a fourth place finish in the S7 400-meter freestyle on Sunday. According to Lettenberger, medaling at the Games is a feeling that will be difficult to match any time soon.
For some, swimming is just a hobby. But for junior swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger, it is much more than that; it is her freedom. Lettenberger, who was born with arthrogryposis amyoplasia, a muscular-skeletal condition in her legs, will fulfill a lifelong goal as she competes in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in the coming days.
Rice Women’s Track and Field saw three athletes finish in the top ten of their respective events at the NCAA Championships, held earlier this month in Eugene, Oregon. Senior long jumper Michelle Fokam, freshman thrower Tara Simpson-Sullivan, and freshman distance runner Grace Forbes put together the best performance from women’s track and field at a national competition in 20 years. Women’s head coach Jim Bevan was proud of his team’s scores and placements against the best competition in Division I.
The Rice track and field teams sent a delegation of 13 athletes, six from the women's team and seven from the men’s team, to compete in the NCAA West Preliminary Championships. The meet took place in College Station from May 26-29, with qualification to the NCAA Championships on the line. The women’s team saw three of their team members earn a spot in the NCAA Championships, while the men’s team had just one of their own qualify. The four qualifiers will now set their sights on competing at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, which will take place June 9-12.
The Rice women’s and men’s track and field teams traveled to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to compete in the C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship from May 13-16. The No. 14 women’s team impressed throughout the event, taking second place out of 13 teams and winning seven individual events. Meanwhile, the men’s team placed fifth out of ten teams, winning one individual event. This was the last meet of the outdoor season for both Owl teams, but qualifiers will move on to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships that begin on May 26 for the men and May 27 for the women in College Station.
No. 25 Rice soccer was defeated 3-0 on Wednesday night by No. 12 University of Virginia in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. This capped off the Owls’ tournament run, which saw them defeat Furman University in the opening round and upset No. 5 West Virginia University in the second round. Following the match, head coach Brian Lee looked back on the Owls’ postseason stretch fondly.
No. 25 Rice soccer upset No. 5 West Virginia University 1-0 on Saturday afternoon, moving on to the third round of the NCAA tournament in Cary, North Carolina next week. While the Mountaineers controlled possession for most of the game, the Owls managed to squeeze out a narrow victory behind a penalty shot in the 74th minute and lockdown defense throughout the game. In the round of 16, the Owls will play the No. 12 University of Virginia. After the match, head coach Brian Lee lauded his team’s effort in pulling off the upset.
Rice soccer defeated Furman University 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Cary, North Carolina. The Owls will now advance to the second round, where they will face off against No. 5 West Virginia University on Saturday. Head coach Brian Lee was proud of his team’s complete performance in the opening round matchup.
The traditional role of a soccer goalkeeper is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals, and nothing more — but don’t tell that to junior goalkeeper Bella Killgore. She hasn’t allowed a goal to get past her in over a month, but she’s also added an offensive component to her game this season, chipping in four goals for the Owls off of free kicks.
The Rice volleyball team was forced to exit the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament prior to their opening round match against North Carolina A&T State University late Wednesday evening due to COVID-19 protocols. As a result, NC A&T will advance to the next round.
The Rice golf team spent the weekend competing at the Aggie Invitational, where they finished just No. 13 out of 17 teams in their final regular-season tournament. The Owls finished the 54-hole course with an overall score of 912 (+48). Junior Harrison Hineline was the highest-placing Owl in the tournament, tying for No. 39 place out of 96 golfers with a tournament score of 225 (+9).
The Rice volleyball team took second place in the Conference USA tournament over the weekend, falling to No. 19 Western Kentucky University in the championship match. Entering the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the C-USA West Division, the Owls got off to a strong start, taking each of their first two matches in straight sets. However, in the final round, they were unable to defeat the Hilltoppers, losing three sets to one. Despite the loss, the No. 24 Owls secured a spot in the NCAA tournament when the field was announced on Sunday.
After having their season delayed five months, the Owls set off on a journey that ended with an undefeated conference season, an overall record of 14-4 and a momentous win against No. 2 University of Texas, Austin. Ranked No. 24 in the latest national poll, the Owls will look to build off of their success in the Conference USA tournament, which starts this Thursday.
Going into Friday night’s game, Rice volleyball had won their previous 12 conference matches, which capped off Rice’s first-ever undefeated conference season. On Friday night, the Owls proceeded with their conference tournament preparation by playing national powerhouse Baylor University. The Owls got out to an early lead, but fell to the Bears in five sets. Despite the loss, head coach Genny Volpe said that the match provided opportunities to test new lineups and focus on the team’s blocking.
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.