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Sports


SPORTS 11/4/14 9:25am

Football continues winning streak

The Rice University football team defeated Florida International University 31-17 on Saturday, Nov. 1, extendeding their winning streak to five games and bringing the team to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in Conference USA.After the Owls defense recovered an early fumble from FIU, sophomore running back Jowan Davis ran 19 yards for a touchdown 33 seconds into the first quarter. Rice increased the lead to 17 after a career-long 40-yard field goal from junior James Farrimond and a 63-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Driphus Jackson to senior wide receiver Jordan Taylor.FIU then scored 14 unanswered points through the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter. Jackson retaliated with a 69-yard touchdown pass to true freshman James Mayden, and FIU answered with a field goal, closing out the half at 24-17. FIU was held scoreless in the second half, and junior Luke Turner scored the last touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter to bring the final score to 31-17.Jackson led the Rice offense in both passing and rushing, throwing for 230 yards and rushing for 66. Taylor led the team in receiving, catching six passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Senior defensive end Zach Patt had a career day en route to earning his first conference defensive player of the week title after recording five sacks and forcing three fumbles. Patt said he was proud of the award and attributed it to the defense as a whole. “Being defensive player of the week is really a good thing for me because it’s the first time that I’ve done this,” Patt said. “That’s just really a testament to the [defensive line], our staff, the coaches and the unit as a core, rushing together, playing as a team and just having fun.”According to Bailiff, the seniors played well and led the team effectively. Bailiff also said it is important to acknowledge senior defensive back Bryce Callahan for his ability to lock down opposing receivers.“I thought our coaches at halftime really made some nice judgements, but also I more importantly thought our seniors just came out with more of a passion [and] played with a chip on their shoulders,” Bailiff said. “Bryce Callahan, our cornerback, [is] very talented. You’re not seeing his name a whole lot because he’s not getting a lot of activity ... He had a stellar game.”Junior defensive end Brian Nordstrom said he was happy with the team’s defensive performance but acknowledged the need for improvement. “I’m really happy with how the defense played in the second half of the game,” Nordstrom said. “But at the same time, we’re not satisfied. We still have the goals of winning conference and getting to a bowl game that we need to accomplish.”Jackson said he liked how the offense played to start the game but said they could have performed better in the second half. “As far as offense goes, I feel we played well in the first half,” Jackson said. “I feel like we have to play better in the second half ... I feel like we are making great strides. We are throwing the ball a lot better, even though the completion percentage is not where I would like it to be. We are actually putting points on the board in the air. That’s balancing out our ground attack. It’s going to get better going forward.”Jackson also said playing high-ranked schools at the beginning of the year helped prepare the team to face off against conference competition.“It takes a lot of pressure off, to be honest,” Jackson said. “Those big games [against Notre Dame and A&M] end up preparing you for the pressure of conference ... [We] want to be undefeated, but [our] goal is to be conference champions. Even though we dropped first conference game to Old Dominion, I felt like we played well in that game. We just came up short ... We can match up with the best and biggest.”Junior all-conference defensive tackle Christian Covington will be out for around two weeks with a lower leg injury from Saturday’s game. Coach Bailiff said the team will miss Covington’s presence but they have enough depth to recover quickly.“Dylan Klare is playing exceptionally,” Bailiff said. “Ross Winship has stepped up ... We’ve got good depth there in the middle of the defensive line. They’re making plays. Will we miss him? Absolutely, he’s a great player. Coach [Jim] Wacker, when I played for him, used to tell us ‘you don’t win a championship with a healthy club.’ People have to step up and I expect those guys behind him to.”Rice is looking to extend their win streak to six games as they host the University of Texas, San Antonio (2-6, 1-3 C-USA) on Saturday, Nov. 8. Bailiff said the return of their senior starting quarterback Tucker Carter will make the game more challenging. “They have their quarterback back; you know they’re going to come in here excited,” Bailiff said. “They still have a chance to go to a bowl game ... We’ll have a great week of practice [and we] look forward to his homecoming game.”The game against UTSA is Rice’s homecoming game and will kick off at 11 a.m. at Rice Stadium. 


SPORTS 10/28/14 11:13am

'Bob' makes a name for himself on field

Luke Turner is the reigning Conference USA Championship Most Valuable Player and is currently in his third year of eligibility for Rice University football. Despite being listed as a running back, Turner does not exclusively play one position.Although Turner played quarterback in high school, he has played numerous positions at Rice, filling in gaps on both sides of the ball. He has scored touchdowns as a quarterback, receiver and running back in his time on the team. Turner has also taken a few punts and returned kicks.According to Turner, it is difficult to perform in a number of different roles, but he welcomes the challenge with open arms.“[The coaches] asked me to do a lot, which doesn’t bother me at all,” Turner, a Will Rice College junior, said. “I do a lot of special teams, I’ve done kickoff returns. Now in my third year of college, they’ve asked me to play tight end, which I had never really played. I had never even played running back before I [got] to college. They asked me to do a lot of different stuff.”Turner also currently plays quarterback in the “Wild Owl” formation, an offensive formation in which a running back lines up in the quarterback slot. Turner first earned his opportunity to run the formation last season after senior running back Turner Petersen sustained a knee injury against Tulane University last November. Turner said being the featured quarterback in the Wild Owl is due to his high school football experience as quarterback.“I played quarterback in high school, and Turner [Petersen got] a little banged up at the beginning of fall,” Turner said. “[The coaches] said, ‘Hey this kid played quarterback, let’s see what he can do.’ They just kind of gave it to me after that and I’ve been doing it ever since.”Turner has been nicknamed ‘Bob’ by his teammates and coaches, which he attributes to the confusion that came from having two other players named Luke Wilson and Turner Peterson on the team. Turner said Wilson, who is currently a tight end for the Seattle Seahawks, was tired of the confusion and told everybody to start calling him Bob instead.“[We] had Luke [Wilson] and Turner [Petersen],” Turner said. “My name is Luke Turner, so [there was] a little confusion out at practice every day. It went until about three weeks into fall camp my freshman year … One day, Luke Wilson just stopped practice and said ‘Everybody, he’s Bob from now on.’ It was just supposed to be a joke, initially, but it stuck.”


SPORTS 10/28/14 11:11am

Powderpuff teams seek playoff bids in week seven

With the seventh week of preliminary powderpuff games still underway, Sid Richardson College currently sits at the top of its division and the overall conference with a 78-point differential and six wins and no losses. Last year, the team ended their season with a 62 point differential and six wins and one loss. According to Sid Richardson junior Christina Shields, the secret to the team’s success is an improvement on the offensive side of the ball.“Our defense has been really strong for the past few years, but this year we really diversified our offense as well,” Shields said. “Our defense is still rock solid, but now everyone on offense is scoring, and I think that’s the reason we’ve seen such a good point differential.”Martel College trails behind Sid Richardson and GSA as third overall, with a current record of four wins, one loss and a 18-point differential. Last year, Martel ended their season with three wins and four losses, finishing with an 11-point differential. This year, the Martel and GSA are tied for the best record in the North division, although GSA has the better point differential with 28.Head Coach and Martel senior Taylor Neal said he is enthusiastic about his team’s improvement.“Our team has improved on both sides of the ball, and it has been exciting to get a few wins to start the season,” Neal said. “We are not satisfied with a few early wins, and we’re still trying new things as we attempt to improve.”Martel junior Cassie Peretore said Martel’s newfound success can be explained by the team’s effort and chemistry.“Our coaches and players this year have really stepped it up with dedication and hard work,” Peretore said. “I’m really excited to see where our season ends up. Honestly, we’re just going out there, having fun and enjoying ourselves.”Will Rice College opened with a loss by one point to Martel. However, they were quick to stabilize their point differential with three consecutive victories against Brown College, Baker College and Hanszen College. The team recently lost to Sid Richardson by seven points.Coach Will Byers said he is proud of the determination and work ethic of the team, giving special credit to senior Ellen Wendte and junior Michelle Huang.“We’ve had two tough losses that really came down to the wire,” Byers said. “I’ve been extremely impressed with our girls’ resilience and focus. Captains Ellen Wendte and Michelle Huang have done a great job of getting people out to practice and motivating everyone to excel. I think future seasons are looking bright for Will Rice.”Coming off of its 2013 season, which finished with a loss in the championship game, the McMurtry College team has seen less success this season with two wins, three losses and a two-point differential. According to Head Coach Ross Michie-Derrick, a McMurtry senior, the team has had to rebuild itself after losing many key players to graduation.“Veterans like Jessica Kelly, Andrea ‘AK-47’ Kopczynski, Joanna Hall and Allison Yu have played well from the start,” Michie-Derrick said. “The freshmen have found their lane in the past few games, [and quarterback] Avery Landrum has amazing spatial awareness, which has facilitated her rapid rise.”Despite the initial setbacks, Michie-Derrick said the team will end up winning the championship. “We started the season in a rebuild, but we will finish it with the championship plaque,” Michie-Derrick said.


SPORTS 10/28/14 11:10am

Volleyball completes weekend sweep at home

The Rice University volleyball team completed an undefeated weekend by winning two matches against conference opponents. On Friday, the Owls faced Middle Tennessee State University, winning 3-1. The team ended the weekend with a 3-0 victory over the University of Alabama, Birmingham. The Owls have now won seven of their last eight matches. Freshman setter Katie Steel and junior outside hitter Andi Bawcum were named Conference USA Setter of the Week and Offensive Player of the Week, respectively. Steel, in her first career start, tallied 95 assists for the weekend in replacement of the injured Sara Blasier as the setter. Bawcum, who recorded a season-high total of 22 kills on Friday night, also earned her first career C-USA Player of the Week award. Senior defensive specialist Daniela Arenas also recorded 38 digs recorded over the two weekend games. According to Volpe, Arenas has been an important senior on the team who has led the younger players, despite not receiving much glory. “Arenas has been awesome not just this weekend, but all season,” Volpe said. “She has been a steady leader for us and has been a big reason for our success. The things she does [do not] always show up on a stat sheet, but she does so much for our team.” As the team comes close to wrapping up the season and preparing for the conference tournament, Volpe said she is still looking for improvement. “We always are looking [to] improve,” Volpe said. “We are definitely a strong passing and defensive team, which is helping our offense, but we need to continue to improve in certain areas defensively to help us win the C-USA tournament.”  According to Volpe, the team is focusing on improving its serving heading into postseason play. “I’d also like us to continue to serve more aggressively,” Volpe said. “That can be a very strong part of our team that I don’t think we have quite yet maximized.” The Owls will now finish their road schedule as they head to South Florida next weekend for a Friday matchup against Florida International University on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. and a Sunday morning matchup against Florida Atlantic University on Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. 


SPORTS 10/28/14 11:09am

Soccer completes undefeated season at home

This past weekend, the Rice University soccer team won both home games, clinching an undefeated home record for the first time in program history.  Friday night’s Senior Day saw the team’s four seniors honored for their careers at Rice. Goalkeeper Amy Czyz, midfielders Gabriela Iribarne and Quinny Truong and defender Ashton Geisendorff led Rice to a 5-0 victory over Old Dominion University. On Sunday, the Owls defeated the University of North Carolina at Charlotte 4-1.On Friday night, junior Lauren Hughes got the Owls on the board first in the 17th minute of the game with a close range strike to beat the keeper. In the 32nd minute of the game, junior Holly Hargreaves scored on a chip shot that found the back of the net with the assist coming from Truong. Hughes went on to score two more goals later in the match in the 58th and 61st minute to give her a hat trick and her 10th goal of the season. The defense held strong, only allowing four shots all game.Czyz said Senior Day allowed her to reflect on her Rice career and the improvements she has seen in the soccer program. “For us, this is a very special day, and I’m so happy [the seniors] have made it this far and been so successful,” Czyz said. “Getting the big win and the shutout was the perfect way to cap [Senior Day] off, and we just hope we are leaving the program in better hands than when we got it here.” Head Coach Nicky Adams said the seniors have served as great examples for the rest of team and have helped lead the team to its success this season.“[Our seniors] bring so much leadership, and they truly love Rice,” Adams said. “Every day they come out and give us everything they have. It’s just contagious when you have great seniors who truly believe in what we’re doing … obviously the team is going to follow.” On Sunday afternoon, the Owls continued their two-game winning streak, scoring four more goals and winning 4-1. Hughes scored the opening goal of the game off of a deflection in the sixth minute to give the Owls an early lead. Iribarne followed that up with a 35th minute goal to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. Iribarne added another goal in the 71st minute off a cross from junior midfielder Danielle Spriggs. The Owls’ victory earned them a 6-0-2 home record to complement their 10-3-3 (6-2-1 C-USA) season thus far. The current squad has the top two goal-scorers in Rice history in Hargreaves and Hughes, and the all-time leader in shutouts in Czyz. Adams said she was satisfied with the way the team played this past weekend to stay in second place in C-USA.“I was pleased with the way our possession was all weekend and [our] ability to find the back of the net, scoring nine goals in one weekend,” Adams said. “I love how we played as one unit on both sides of the ball.” Looking forward, Adams said the Owls have hopes of entering the NCAA tournament by winning the C-USA tournament or receiving an at-large bid. “This team is so hungry and definitely want[s] to make [the NCAA tournament],” Adams said. “If we are peaking right now, this is the perfect time and we are excited for what is coming up.” Iribarne said she hopes she and the rest of the senior class have been role models for the younger players. “I think this season has been great,” Iribarne said. “[We] know our teammates look up to us [and] we look up to them, so it’s a full circle and we work hard out there for each other.” Rice will play their final game of the season on the road Thursday, Oct. 30 against the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Rice is currently tied for second place in C-USA and has clinched a berth in the upcoming C-USA tournament beginning Nov. 5, in Charlotte, North Carolina.


SPORTS 10/28/14 11:08am

Football earns fourth consecutive victory

The Rice University football team defeated the University of North Texas 41-21 Saturday, Oct. 25 and improved its record to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Conference USA, giving the Owls their fourth-consecutive victory. Rice scored on the first offensive play of the game with an 88-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Driphus Jackson to senior wide receiver Jordan Taylor, tying the record for the longest-scoring play in school history. Rice and UNT exchanged scores for the remainder of the first quarter, ending the opening period tied at 14 points apiece. UNT scored the only touchdown of the second quarter and carried a 21-14 lead heading into halftime.The Owls came out of halftime and scored 27 unanswered points to secure the 41-21 victory. The Rice defense held UNT to only 45 yards of offense in the second half, helping Rice to its 10th home victory in its last 11 home games.Rice’s offense, led by Jackson, totaled 233 passing yards and 188 rushing yards in the game. Jackson completed 13 of 26 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, while sophomore running backs Jowan Davis and Darik Dillard combined for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor led the team in receiving, recording 137 yards on four catches and becoming the fourth player in school history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards.Taylor said the team’s offensive success in the second half was due to the offensive line’s performance and the team’s ability to adjust to UNT’s defense.“All year long the [offensive line] has been the focal point of our offense, and this week North Texas made it really hard for us to go in there and run the ball, that’s just what they do,” Taylor said. “Our offensive line did a heck of a job. They kind of struggled in the first half, we all did as an offense, but we picked it up in the second half and made things happen when we needed to.”Rice’s defense held UNT to 216 yards in the second half, the best defensive performance of the season and 133 yards below UNT’s season average. Less than five minutes into the third quarter, junior cornerback Ryan Pollard intercepted a pass from UNT quarterback Andrew McNulty and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Owls their first defensive score of the season.Head Coach David Bailiff said the quick defensive start in the second half was attributed to the attitude and strategic changes that occurred during halftime.“Even in the locker room, you’re down 21 to 14, and the defense is talking about getting a takeaway, scoring a touchdown on defense,” Bailiff said. “And it was almost like everything said in that locker room at halftime… that third quarter was almost prophesied in the locker room.” Pollard said his interception return for a touchdown was a crucial component of Rice’s defensive effort contributing to the victory. “Any time I get the ball [on a pick], I tell myself in my head that I’m taking it all the way back,” Pollard said. “I knew in the back of my head that I was going to take it all the way back and give us a spark and get us going.”According to Jackson, the defensive effort, particularly Pollard’s defensive score early in the second half, was the most important component of the team’s win.“I think [the defense] was the focal point; they set the tone for us and we kind of just fed off of them,” Jackson said. “It’s amazing how Coach Bailiff always talks about how we’re going to need each other, and it resonated in this game because in the first half we had a really big play on the first play, and after that we were just stagnant. We weren’t really able to get anything going all the way up to the second half, so for the defense to come out and get us a turnover at that time was very crucial.”Bailiff said he was proud of the team’s resiliency and determination to win in the face of adversity.“[I’m] just so proud of this football team, the way they fought and played for four quarters,” Bailiff said. “Even when things weren’t going [well], all you heard were guys talking about what they were going to do the next time they were out there, what they’re going to do for the next play, what they’re going to do for the team.”The Owls recorded four sacks and nine tackles for loss, led by junior defensive lineman Christian Covington, who recorded one and a half sacks in the game. Covington said the dominance of the defensive line in the second half allowed the defense to have fun playing football while also helping the team win.“It was a great defensive effort, especially in the second half,” Covington said. “To be on the field during that time brings back memories of childhood, just being able to have fun playing football. I’m happy with this defense and I’m so excited for this team to get a win like that.”Rice will look to earn its fifth-straight victory against Florida International University on Saturday, Nov. 1 in Miami, Florida. FIU currently boasts a 3-5 record, including a 2-4 record against Division 1 opponents. FIU is coming off a 45-13 loss to Marshall University and has the 107th ranked offense in the country, totalling an average of 21.5 points per game. A victory would improve the Owls’ record to 5-3 and 3-1 in conference and would put them one win away from bowl eligibility. The game against FIU will kick off at 11 a.m. in Miami, Florida.


SPORTS 10/26/14 12:02pm

Football defeats North Texas

The Rice University football team defeated the University of North Texas 41-21 Saturday, Oct.  25 and improved its record to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Conference USA, giving the Owls their fourth consecutive victory.Facing off against the Mean Green, the Owls were seeking their fourth consecutive victory and second straight conference win. Rice scored on the first offensive play of the game on an 88 yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Driphus Jackson to senior wide receiver Jordan Taylor, tying the record for the longest scoring play in school history. Rice and North Texas would exchange scores for the remainder of the first quarter, ending the opening period tied at 14 points apiece. North Texas scored the only touchdown of the second quarter and carried a 21-14 lead heading into halftime.The Owls came out of halftime and scored 27 unanswered points to secure the 41-21 victory. The Rice defense held North Texas to only 45 yards of offense in the second half, helping Rice to its 10th home victory in its last 11 home games.Rice’s offense, led by Jackson, totaled 233 passing yards and 188 rushing yards in the game. Jackson completed 13 of 26 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown while sophomore running backs Jowan Davis and Darik Dillard combined for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Taylor led the team in receiving, recording 137 yards on four catches and becoming the fourth player in school history to surpass 2,000 career receiving yards.Rice’s defense highlighted the team’s winning effort, particularly in the second half, holding North Texas to 216 yards, the best defensive performance of the season and 133 yards below North Texas’s season average.Less than five minutes into the third quarter, junior cornerback Ryan Pollard intercepted a pass from North Texas quarterback Andrew McNulty and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Owls their first defensive score of the season.Pollard said the score was a crucial component of Rice’s defensive effort contributing to the victory."Any time I get the ball [on a pick], I tell myself in my head that I'm taking it all the way back," Pollard said. "I knew in the back of my head that I was going to take it all the way back and give us a spark and get us going."The Owls recorded four sacks and nine tackles for loss, led by junior defensive lineman Christian Covington, who recorded one and a half sacks in the game.Rice will look to earn its fifth straight victory against Florida International University on Saturday, Nov. 1 in Miami, FL. FIU currently boasts a 3-5 record, including a 2-4 record against Division-1 opponents. FIU is coming off a 45-13 loss to Marshall University and has the 107th ranked offense in the country, totalling an average of 21.5 points per game. A victory would improve the Owls’ record to 5-3 and 3-1 in conference and would put them one win away from bowl eligibility.The game against FIU will kick off at 11 a.m. CST in Miami, FL.


SPORTS 10/21/14 4:21pm

Club baseball player ascends to varsity team

Despite not being recruited out of high school, Sanjiv Gopalkrishnan has found his way onto Rice University’s varsity baseball team.Gopalkrishnan, a McMurtry College sophomore, played catcher in high school and continued on to play for the Rice club baseball team. After playing for the club team last year, Gopalkrishnan was elected president of the team before the school year and played with the club team through the first month of the year. After the varsity team’s catchers sustained multiple injuries, however, Gopalkrishnan was given the opportunity to join the varsity team. According to Gopalkrishnan, the opportunity came from the team’s injury situation as well as his relationship with coaches and players.“The story is that one week they had two freshmen catchers get hurt,” Gopalkrishnan said. “Because I made friends with some people on the team last year, they said, ‘Hey, Sanjiv can catch, he’s on the club team, give him a call and I’m sure he’ll do it.’ So Coach [Patrick] Hallmark called me and he asked if I could come out, and the rest is history.”Gopalkrishnan also said he credits his rise to the friendships he made with the varsity team athletes last season.“The first person who recommended me was Michael Aquino, who is a fifth-year student now,” Gopalkrishnan said. “J.C. [Reeves], who was actually one of the catchers who got hurt also backed him up, and Connor Teykl as well.”Since being called up to the varsity team, which lost last season in the regional round of the postseason, Gopalkrishnan has had to adjust to the gap in playing ability and commitment. “[The difference in] skill level is huge,” Gopalkrishnan said. “With club, sometimes last year it was a struggle to get nine guys on the field, whereas for varsity there’s backups for every position and everyone is skilled enough to start. Just in terms of velocities, it’s expected that you throw 85 to 90 [miles per hour], whereas the fastest guy we have for club throws 78.”Although he has joined the varsity team for the fall, Gopalkrishnan understands his role on the team. According to Gopalkrishnan, his responsibility will be to help in practice and make sure pitchers are warmed up before they enter a game. “I see myself being in a purely supporting role,” Gopalkrishnan said. “I don’t expect to play much, if at all. I expect to catch in the bullpen. I don’t even know if I’m on the team for the spring, but for the fall, I’m catching bullpen. I get to play in the intrasquad scrimmage though, which is really cool.”Despite not starting nor earning significant playing time, Gopalkrishnan has embraced the new position with open arms. Even though his chances of earning a roster spot on the team in spring are slim, Gopalkrishnan said he knows he’ll always be viewed as a member of the team.“Michael [Aquino] told me that once you’re on the team, it’s like a fraternity,” Gopalkrishnan said. “They’re always looking out for you — they’re basically your brothers. At first, I got some weird looks, but now I’m definitely part of the team. They all welcome me, and I’m sure that, even if I’m not practicing during the spring, if they see me in the stands they’ll all appreciate me being there and supporting them.”Although he has spent most of the time this season catching in the bullpen, Gopalkrishnan has gained playing experience in intrasquad and competitive situations. Gopalkrishnan earned his first career hit as a Division I athlete on Wednesday, Oct. 15 in an intrasquad scrimmage. Gopalkrishnan is now 1-3 batting in the fall season with an RBI.


SPORTS 10/21/14 4:20pm

Football prepares for North Texas following three-game win streak

Coming off a bye week and riding a three-game winning streak, the Rice University football team (3-3, 1-1 C-USA) returns home this weekend to face the University of North Texas.Despite starting off the season with three consecutive losses, the Owls have rebounded to even their record midway through the season. After averaging 23 points per game across the three losses, the Owls have averaged nearly 37 points per game over the past three games while holding their opponents to just over 19 points per game.UNT (2-5, 0-3 C-USA) is currently riding a three-game losing streak, losing by an average of 23 points to Indiana University, the University of Alabama, Birmingham and the University of Southern Mississippi, which Rice defeated 41-23 on Sept. 27.Both teams feature low-ranked defenses, however, as the Mean Green have the 96th-ranked defense, giving up an average of 32 points per game, while the Owls have the 93rd-ranked defense, sacrificing 31.5 points per game.Junior quarterback Driphus Jackson has shown improvement over the past three games as well, throwing for 635 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. The increased offensive productivity can be attributed in part to the return of all-conference senior wide receiver Jordan Taylor, who, after not playing in the first three games, has caught eight passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns over the last two games.Rice’s rushing offense has continued to produce yardage and points through sophomore running backs Jowan Davis and Darik Dillard, who have rushed for 924 yards and eight touchdowns on the year combined. The UNT game will be the third Conference USA matchup of the year for the Owls. Rice began the conference schedule by losing to Old Dominion University 45-42, then defeating Southern Miss in Mississippi. A victory against UNT would help the Owls in their attempt to repeat last season’s conference championship, as the Owls are currently tied for second place in the C-USA West Division with the University of Texas, El Paso.The game against UNT will kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25 in Rice Stadium.


SPORTS 10/21/14 4:19pm

Soccer splits weekend series in Florida

The Rice University soccer team traveled to South Florida this past weekend and split two games against Conference USA opponents. The first weekend game featured a 2-1 loss to Florida International University, followed by a 3-2 victory against Florida Atlantic University. Rice is 8-3-3 on the season with a 4-2-1 C-USA record. The Panthers held Rice scoreless for nearly the entire match, and scored in the 55th minute, giving them a 1-0 advantage midway through the second half. In the 89th minute, however, Rice senior forward Lauren Hughes scored the tying goal with 43 seconds on the clock remaining to send the teams into overtime. Just seven minutes into overtime, FIU found the back of the net to clinch the win. On Sunday afternoon, Rice beat FAU 3-2. By the 16th minute of play, Rice had already taken a 3-0 advantage from goals by junior midfielder Danielle Spriggs, Hughes and freshman midfielder Samantha Chaiken. However, FAU continued to chip away at the Rice lead by scoring two goals by the 60th minute. Rice was outshot 11-4 in the second half but found a way to hang on and secure the 3-2 victory. Head Coach Nicky Adams said she was disappointed with the team’s performance in Friday night’s loss against FIU, but satisfied with the win against FAU.“Our Friday night performance was the first game [I felt] our entire team did not play well,” Adams said. “We couldn’t get over them, couldn’t play our style of game and struggled as a unit. However, I’m proud of our team for rebounding well with three goals on Sunday.” According to Adams, the upcoming home games are critical to the team’s success, particularly with only three regular-season games remaining. “We now have two home games against [Old Dominion University] and [the University of North Carolina, Charlotte], which are our last two home games,” Adams said. “We’ll be ready to go … and still have nine points to earn to close out our C-USA season.” Hughes said the lower level of play the Owls have had over the past three matches has concerned her, but she is happy to see her team return to its winning ways after the FAU game. “We definitely had a bit of a slump where we didn’t play Rice soccer and allowed the other teams to dictate the way we were playing,” Hughes said. “I think our team’s ability to bounce back from the slump shows the grit we have … and I’m extremely excited that we are back to playing our game.”Spriggs said the game against FAU helped the team return to form and focus on finishing the season strong. “At FAU, we got back to what makes us a great team, and hopefully we carry that with us the rest of the season,” Spriggs said. “We have three games left in Conference, and winning all three of those is really important. We’re excited to go [out and] take care of business.”The Owls return home this weekend for the final two home games of the season. The Owls will compete against Old Dominion University Friday at 7 p.m for Senior Night and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte Sunday at noon. With three games left in Conference play, the Owls are tied for second place and are looking to catch up to the University of North Texas, who currently leads the conference by one game.



SPORTS 10/15/14 5:52pm

Football defeats Army

The Rice University football team defeated the Army Black Knights 41-21 to improve to 3-3 overall. After a first quarter that finished with a tie, Rice managed to outscore Army 17-7 and 14-7 in the second and third quarters, respectively. Army was held scoreless in the final quarter.


SPORTS 10/7/14 4:54pm

Basketball prepares for season

After the Rice University basketball team went 12-48 over the last two seasons, the athletic department hired Mike Rhoades, a former head coach at Randolph-Macon College and former assistant head coach for the Virginia Commonwealth University team, which made it to the Final Four in 2011, to be its new head coach. Rhoades helped guide VCU to a 26-9 record last season and a spot in the NCAA Tournament and is instituting his own system and training regimen, which includes the same training that the Navy SEALs go through.


SPORTS 10/7/14 4:53pm

Soccer snaps unbeaten streak

The Rice University soccer team headed out on the road this past weekend to face two more Conference USA opponents. On Friday, the Owls defeated the University of Texas, San Antonio 3-0. Rice then traveled to face off against the University of Texas, El Paso on Sunday; the Owls lost to the Miners 1-0 in overtime. The Owls are now 7-2-2 on the season and second overall in C-USA with a 3-1 conference record.



SPORTS 10/7/14 4:51pm

Volleyball Continues Success

Last week, the Rice University volleyball team won three consecutive matches against conference opponents. On Wednesday, the Owls faced off against the University of North Texas, winning 3-1. The Owls then bested the University of Texas, El Paso and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte at home on Friday and Sunday, respectively.


SPORTS 10/7/14 4:51pm

Conference assist leader credits team

Redshirt sophomore Sara Blasier, Rice University’s all-conference setter, has been playing volleyball for most of her life. Now midway into her second season on the team, Blasier is the Conference USA’s leading assister and has the fourth-most assists in the country.



SPORTS 10/1/14 9:59am

Rice Rugby Club looks to continue success on the field

Rice University Rugby opened its fall 2014 season with a victory over Stephen F. Austin State University, winning 24-22. The rugby team is not unaccustomed to success, however. Last season, the team finished as the runners-up in the state of Texas. Rice defeated Sam Houston State University in the semifinals of the Texas Cup 53-22, and then suffered a loss to St. Edward’s University in the championship match.