Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, December 08, 2022 — Houston, TX

Sports


SPORTS 12/5/22 1:51pm

Volleyball loses heartbreaker to Baylor in second round, ending season and NCAA tournament run

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.


SPORTS 12/5/22 11:40am

Football to face Southern Miss in LendingTree Bowl

It might not have been how they planned it, but Rice football is going to a bowl game. The Owls will take on the University of Southern Mississippi in the LendingTree Bowl, in Mobile, Alabama on Dec. 17. After finishing the season 5-7, one win shy of the mark needed to secure eligibility, Rice got an invite anyway when not enough teams reached six wins to fill every bowl game. The Owls topped all five-win teams in the tiebreaker, an academic performance metric called Academic Progress Rate. 



SPORTS 11/29/22 11:19pm

WBB knocks off A&M for best start in program history

College Station was full of upsets over the holiday weekend as the women’s basketball team capped off the weekend by upsetting Texas A&M University 66-58. The victory pushed the Owls’ record to 6-0, earning them the best start in program history. 


SPORTS 11/29/22 11:18pm

Rice in line for bowl due to academics despite UNT loss, 5-7 record

It looks like Rice football’s intellectual brutality is finally paying off. The Owls appeared to miss out on the postseason when their 21-17 loss to the University of North Texas on Saturday left them at 5-7 for the season, one win shy of the threshold for bowl eligibility. However, losses by a pair of 5-6 teams later that night guaranteed there wouldn’t be enough six-win teams to fill all 41 bowl games. The remaining spots will now go to the 5-7 teams with the highest Academic Progress Rate – a metric that measures the academic performance of a school’s student athletes. Rice had the highest APR of any five-win team, and is now in line for their first postseason berth since 2014, assuming they accept.


SPORTS 11/29/22 11:17pm

Dancing in December: Volleyball a 5-seed in NCAA tournament after winning conference

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.


SPORTS 11/29/22 11:10pm

Karlgaard’s dilemma: Bloomgren is the cause of progress, stagnation

When Rice moves to the American Athletic Conference next season, they’ll be one of three teams in the AAC named the Owls. If they opt to change their nickname to avoid confusion, might I suggest the Tortoises. The Owl football team has religiously followed the “slow-and-steady” model since head coach Mike Bloomgren took the helm in 2018, adding one win each year, with the exception of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.


SPORTS 11/21/22 11:56am

Volleyball beats No. 20 Western Kentucky in title game to reach C-USA hilltop

In 2019, the Rice volleyball team took on Western Kentucky University in the Conference USA final only to lose in a five-set heartbreaker. They got another shot at the Hilltoppers in the following year’s title game, and again in 2021, but both times WKU came out on top. Just ten days earlier, while not in the conference tournament, the Hilltoppers beat the Owls in a fifth-set tiebreaker to secure the C-USA regular season title. Sunday, though, the result was different. The No. 22 Owls finally made it past their conference rival, on the No. 20 Hilltoppers’ home court no less, to secure a conference title for the first time since 2018. After the match, head coach Genny Volpe said that she was thrilled to see her team rewarded for their efforts all year.


SPORTS 11/19/22 10:02pm

Volleyball sweeps UTEP in semis to set up rematch with WKU in final

Like clockwork, death, taxes, and whatever other cliché you want to use to describe mind-bending consistency, No. 22 Rice volleyball will face No. 20 Western Kentucky University in the Conference USA final yet again. The Owls secured a finals spot against the top-seeded Hilltoppers for the fourth consecutive year with a sweep of the University of Texas at El Paso in Saturday’s semifinal. According to head coach Genny Volpe, the Owls executed their game plan almost perfectly to punch their ticket to the final.


SPORTS 11/19/22 11:44am

Volleyball sweeps FIU in first round of C-USAs, advances to semifinals

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.


SPORTS 11/15/22 11:15pm

Volleyball gets final chance to reverse the C-USA tournament curse

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.



SPORTS 11/15/22 10:49pm

Volleyball misses out on C-USA regular season title to WKU by inches

Whenever the Rice volleyball team plays Western Kentucky University, the two head coaches have a running joke. “[WKU head coach] Travis [Hudson] and I always joke, ‘let’s get ready for a five set match,’ because we know it’s going five,” Owls’ head coach Genny Volpe said. Thursday’s game between the two Conference USA heavyweights was no exception. It took the Hilltoppers five sets and a tie-break to claim the conference regular season title over the Owls in the closest you’ll get to an instant classic in small-conference volleyball.


SPORTS 11/15/22 10:46pm

Injuries and INTs: Football crushed by WKU in turnover-fest

The Rice football team lost to Western Kentucky University 45-10 on Saturday afternoon, dropping them to 5-5 on the season and 3-3 in conference play. The Owls struggled on both sides of the ball, with the offense recording six turnovers and the defense allowing 495 yards. According to head coach Mike Bloomgren, the team just didn’t play very well.


SPORTS 11/15/22 10:42pm

Cross country season ends quietly for both teams at regionals

Rice’s Cross Country season ended at the South Central Regional Meet on Nov. 11. The women’s team, coming off a third place finish in the Conference USA Championship, crossed the line ninth this weekend, falling short of their second place finish and NCAA championship berth attained last fall. In a season plagued with injuries, the Owls were missing some of 2021’s most impressive runners, including last year’s regional champion junior Grace Forbes. This year, junior Taigen Hunter-Galvan led the Owls in nineteenth place with a six-kilometer time of 21:04.2, improving on her twenty-first place 21:25.5 run at 2021’s regionals. According to Hunter-Galvan, the team had their eyes set on nationals again before injuries got in the way.


SPORTS 11/9/22 12:26am

Meltdown in Malibu: MBB drops opener to Pepperdine

The Rice men’s basketball team fell to Pepperdine University with a final score of 106-67 on Monday night’s season opener. Starting their season with a loss in Malibu, the Owls main contributor on offense was junior guard Quincy Olivari, who led the team in scoring with 15 points, and assists with six. The Owls struggled to score throughout the game, shooting 38% from the field while the Waves made 63% of their shots and converted 50% of their three-pointers.



SPORTS 11/9/22 12:23am

FB bests UTEP in shootout, needs one win for bowl

Rice football beat the University of Texas at El Paso 37-30 on Thursday thanks to a last second touchdown pass from junior quarterback TJ McMahon to senior wide receiver Bradley Rozner. The win improved the Owls to 5-4 on the season, one win away from securing a postseason berth with three games remaining in the season. According to head coach Mike Bloomgren, this win was crucial for the team, especially on a short turnaround after their disappointing loss to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.



SPORTS 11/9/22 12:19am

Spitz’s school record highlights Swimming’s Senior Day

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.