Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Thursday, December 08, 2022 — Houston, TX

Sports


SPORTS 11/9/22 12:18am

Top-seeded soccer stunned in first round of C-USA tourney

After an undefeated Conference USA regular season, the top-seeded Owls came into the first round of the conference tournament against the eighth-seeded University of North Carolina at Charlotte as the heavy favorites. But history repeated itself in this David and Goliath match that saw the top-ranked Owls lose to the eighth seed in the first round for the second time in school history, the first also being against the 49ers in 2017. According to freshman defender Carsyn Martz, who returned from injury for the match, Charlotte’s persistence made the difference in the game. 


SPORTS 11/9/22 12:12am

Volleyball heads to No. 22 Western Kentucky for rivalry’s potential final chapter

The last time Rice volleyball lost a conference regular season game, back in 2019, it took Western Kentucky University two match points to knock off the Owls in a five-set battle that ultimately decided the regular season conference title. The two teams would meet again that year, this time in the conference championship game, but the result was the same: a five-set Hilltopper victory. Only three players from that Owls team are still with the program, but according to fifth-year setter Carly Graham, the losses still haven’t faded from memory.


SPORTS 11/2/22 12:48am

This is a new low for Rice football

ESPN’s Ryan McGee publishes a list of the ten worst teams in college football’s primary division. Rice has graduated from the rotation of teams regularly featured in his column, but their opponent last week, the then 1-7 University of North Carolina at Charlotte, hasn’t – they were the last ranked team in his most recent list.


SPORTS 11/2/22 12:46am

Volleyball’s defensive ace McCardell talks family, return from injury

When you look at the volleyball court, it’s hard to miss junior libero Nia McCardell, who sports a different colored jersey than her teammates. But it’s not just the color of her jersey that’s made McCardell stand out this season. McCardell has stepped into the spotlight for the Owls this season, earning four Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week awards this year alone.


SPORTS 11/2/22 12:45am

Nightmare on South Main: Football blown out by last-place Charlotte on Homecoming

In the true spirit of Halloween, Rice Stadium resembled a haunted house with proverbial carnage all over the field following Saturday’s loss. Going into the game as 15 point favorites against the last-place team in Conference USA, who had fired their head coach six days prior, all indications pointed to the Owls celebrating Homecoming with a resounding win. But not only did the University of North Carolina at Charlotte spoil the Homecoming festivities, they did so with a 33 point victory, defeating the Owls 56-23. Head coach Mike Bloomgren was very disappointed with the loss after the game.


SPORTS 11/2/22 12:43am

“It’s time to elevate it one more step”: MBB eyes C-USA’s top half

Last year, Rice’s men’s basketball team saw their season slip through their hands as their injuries began to pile up. The team ended the season 16-17 with a second round exit in the Conference USA tournament. They return much of their entire team from last season, but will need to replace leading scorer Carl Pierre and starting guard Chris Mullins. According to Olivari, they’ve finally added the kind of depth that will allow them to give other teams a variety of looks.


SPORTS 11/2/22 12:40am

Women’s XC takes 3rd, men’s takes 4th at C-USAs

Both the Rice men’s and women’s cross country teams competed at the Conference-USA Championships race this past weekend. The women’s team placed third overall in a six-kilometer race, and the men’s team placed fourth in their eight-kilometer race.


SPORTS 11/2/22 12:39am

Soccer rights the ship just in time for postseason

A little less than two months ago, the Rice soccer team was in troubled waters. As the final whistle blew on their last game before conference play, sealing a 5-0 loss to reigning national champion Florida State University, the Owls had a 2-6 record. From the outside looking in, it seemed as if the Owls were destined for a disappointing season. But since then, the Owls have swept all of their Conference USA opponents, aside from one non-conference tie, and set themselves up for what is bound to be an exciting conference tournament. According to head coach Brian Lee, their early results came from a lack of familiarity between new and experienced players.


SPORTS 10/25/22 10:11pm

They’re lovin’ it: FB’s McConnection leads them past LA Tech

Before junior quarterback TJ McMahon hit redshirt sophomore receiver Luke McCaffrey behind two Louisiana Tech University defenders for a 32-yard touchdown with just over two minutes before halftime on Saturday, Rice’s offense hadn’t scored a point in their last hour-and-16-minutes of game-time. But after going down 10-0, the Owls scored 42 points in the next 35 minutes to leave Ruston, LA with a one-point overtime win. According to McMahon, the touchdown kickstarted the offense going into halftime.


SPORTS 10/25/22 10:10pm

Grace Collins ends her soccer career where it started

From breaking assist records to scoring game-winning goals and, last week, earning the United Soccer Coaches national player of the week honors, graduate forward Grace Collins has been all over the pitch and the papers this season, helping the Rice soccer team clinch the Conference-USA regular season title. Despite the graduate transfer’s outstanding season, it came close to not happening after the end of last year.



SPORTS 10/25/22 10:07pm

Roberts’ clutch goal gives soccer a storybook win on Senior Night

Junior defender Jaden Roberts picked the perfect time for her first career goal. With 10 seconds on the clock and the Owls’ Senior Night game tied at zero, graduate forward Grace Collins lined up for a corner kick and sent it into a sea of Owls and Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers. The ball bounced to Roberts, whose shot found the back of the net, sending the Owls into celebration as the clock hit zero. After the game, Roberts recounted the dream goal.


SPORTS 10/18/22 10:44pm

Cross-country tunes up for conference at A&M meet

Their sport may be called cross-country, but the Owls long-distance runners traveled a fraction of that distance on Saturday when they made the hour-and-a-half drive to College Station for the Arturo Barrios Invitational. Rice’s women’s team took 14th place out of 37 teams, while the men’s team took 20th out of 41 at the Texas A&M University-hosted meet, their last before conference. According to men’s head coach Jon Warren, injuries kept his team from performing as well as he would have liked in their tune-up race.


SPORTS 10/18/22 10:43pm

Soccer wins the weekend to keep perfect conference record alive

After winning just two of their eight non-conference games to start the year, the Rice soccer team has won all seven of their games in conference play, allowing just two goals in the process. Over the weekend, the squad defeated the University of Texas at El Paso 2-0 at home and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 1-0 on the road, with all three goals being scored by graduate transfer forward Grace Collins. While leading the team in both goals and assists this season, Collins attributed the Owls’ conference success to head coach Brian Lee and his emphasis on unnoticed details in each game.


SPORTS 10/18/22 10:41pm

Owls win, Rice loses: Football falls to FAU as offense goes missing

Rice football was defeated 17-14 by Florida Atlantic University on Saturday night, moving their overall record to 3-3 and marking their first conference loss this season. Coming off their bye week, the loss on Saturday continued Rice’s winless road record this season. After scoring 14 points in the first quarter, Rice’s offense was unable to score for the remainder of the game as FAU responded with 17 unanswered points. Head coach Mike Bloomgren said that while the defense did well to stymie the home side, the offense’s failure to score points was the main culprit in the loss. 


SPORTS 10/16/22 11:45pm

No. 22 volleyball swept by No. 18 Baylor

When the Owls dropped the first two sets against No. 18 Baylor University on Wednesday, it felt like the same position they had found themselves in numerous times in a season that’s already featured five comeback wins. But instead of the Owls pulling off their third reverse-sweep of the year, the Bears won set three to clinch the sweep (18-25, 22-25, 17-25). Entering the match ranked No. 22 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll and No. 10 in the Rating Percentage Index, the loss ended the Owls’ 11 game win streak. Following the match, head coach Genny Volpe was disappointed by the Owls’ inability to match Baylor’s efficiency.


SPORTS 10/4/22 11:31pm

Powderpuff becomes an intramural, future still undecided

What happened to Miss Independent? She joined the intramural league. Starting this semester, Powderpuff hangs up its independent status and shifts from club to intramural sport. The change comes with a host of changes in rules and in how Powderpuff is organized and run as well as a name change — colleges can now expect to cheer on their women’s flag football team.


SPORTS 10/4/22 11:28pm

Football looks to be turning a corner, but real test is still ahead

The past few weeks have been as encouraging of a stretch as Rice football has had in a long time. First they beat the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to end what was then the longest active winning streak in college football. They then went toe-to-toe with a University of Houston team that started the season ranked No. 24. Finally, over the weekend, they beat perennial Conference USA contenders University of Alabama at Birmingham for the second straight year.


SPORTS 10/4/22 11:27pm

Late free kick sinks soccer against A&M, snaps win streak

The Rice soccer team lost 1-0 to Texas A&M University on Sunday night, dropping the team to 6-7 — the most losses the program has seen since head coach Brian Lee’s tenure began in 2019. Entering the game with a four-game winning streak since beginning conference play, the loss away from home rounds out the Owls’ non-conference schedule. Despite the loss, Lee was proud of the way the team fought and is optimistic about the rest of the regular season schedule.


SPORTS 10/4/22 11:25pm

Doubles duo Diae and Maria look to build on No. 16 ranking

Hailing from Casablanca, Morocco, and Bristol, United Kingdom, fifth-year Diae El Jardi and senior Maria Budin have joined forces in Houston, Texas, to become the No. 16 doubles team in the country. The duo capped off an impressive season last year with a doubles record of 14-5, earning the No. 22 doubles ranking to finish the year and making it to the NCAA Women’s Doubles Championship. According to El Jardi, their first taste of the NCAA postseason was met with some initial nerves.