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Sports






SPORTS 2/26/14 9:35am

Women’s B-ball rebounds against LA Tech

The Rice University women’s basketball team played two games last week against Old Dominion University and Louisiana Tech University. On Wednesday, Feb. 19 the Owls played Old Dominion for the first time in school history, losing 85-49.


SPORTS 2/26/14 9:34am

Rice sweeps Boilermakers at home

Rice University earned its first series sweep of the season against Purdue University, which started Friday, Feb. 21 and ended Sunday, Feb. 23. Sunday’s 23-3 win against the Boilermakers marked the Owls’ biggest offensive output since the 26 runs scored against the University of California, Berkeley in 2010. 


SPORTS 2/18/14 5:34pm

Women’s basketball narrowly loses to UTSA

The Rice University women’s basketball team went 1-1 this past week, defeating the University of Tulsa on the road 75-59, but losing to the University of Texas, San Antonio at home 63-61. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Owls broke their five-game losing streak, defeating the Golden Hurricane.


SPORTS 2/18/14 5:31pm

Men’s basketball falls to Louisiana Tech

The Rice University men’s basketball team dropped their fourth game in five tries on Saturday, losing 85-46 to Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, La.  The Owls (7-17 overall, 2-9 Conference-USA) suffered their worst loss of the season against the Bulldogs, who are 21-5 overall and 9-2 in conference. 




SPORTS 4/18/13 7:00pm

Men's tennis in slump headed to Conference USAtournament

After a close 4-3 loss to Southern Methodist University over the weekend, the Owls head into the 2013 Conference USA tournament, which will be held in Memphis, Tennessee. Rice University finished the regular season with a 10-13 record and will have to win the C-USA tournament if it wants to qualify for the NCAA tournament.


SPORTS 4/17/13 7:00pm

Women's tennis stays hot: No. 1 in C-USA

After 12 straight wins, a No. 20 national ranking and a record of 17-4, the Rice University women's tennis team closed out one of its best regular seasons in history. To make the ending even sweeter, a senior, captain Katie Gater earned the winning point in last Saturday's Senior Day match against the University of Utah to give the Owls a 4-3 victory.



SPORTS 4/17/13 7:00pm

Club baseball aims toward trip to Nationals

Rice University's baseball team is currently ranked No. 23 in the nation. However, another baseball team exists on campus that many students may be unfamiliar with despite its similarly impressive track record. Formed in 2004, the Rice club baseball team has now played in more than 100 games, but the team had a rocky start.


SPORTS 3/21/13 7:00pm

Men's tennis sets sights on bid for NCAA Tournament

The Owls men's tennis team knew it was do or die heading into the 55th Rice Invitational, and they answered with three wins against Radford University, Oregon University and Texas A&M University, all ranked opponents. The wins vaulted Rice University to the .500 mark for the first time since it was 2-2 at the beginning of the season and put the Owls back in the conversation for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. 


SPORTS 3/21/13 7:00pm

The Fifth Lap

This weekend, hundreds of alumni will return to campus for Beer Bike. Many of my friends who are coming back are a year, two years, three years or more removed from their Rice University graduation. They will come back and see the organizations they led going in new directions. They will enter their old familiar commons and see it filled with unfamiliar faces, and they will go to the bike track and watch the bikes go around while only recognizing a few of the names.The whole thing reminds me of Michael Jordan. Allow me to explain.A month ago, Wright Thompson of ESPN published an incredibly insightful and poignant profile of Michael Jordan on the verge of his 50th birthday. Thompson explored how the characteristics that drove Jordan as an athlete, particularly his ability to turn every slight, real or imagined, into fuel, have become a challenge in retirement. He documented Jordan in the midst of a transition: moving, remarrying and dealing with aging. Thompson wrote of Jordan not as a myth, but as a man, featuring his shortcomings as well as his most redeeming characteristics, showing the human element of the athlete who for a generation seemed superhuman. Clearly, it would be a bit of a stretch to compare any returning alum or any student here now to Jordan. However, our college careers are in many ways similar to athletic careers, even if most of us are more like one of Jordan's teammates whom we now struggle to remember.Like athletic careers, our collegiate careers are years of high pressure and high intensity. Instead of being judged on wins and losses, points and turnovers, we're constantly graded on papers and problem sets and exams. Like athletic careers, our collegiate careers are times in which we receive large amounts of attention. Right now, many of our accomplishments, both academic and extracurricular, are celebrated by our peers, by our mentors and by those outside of the hedges - and they should be. Yet as time passes, the significance of those accomplishments in the eyes of others begin to diminish. And like athletic careers, our collegiate careers quickly come to an end. Because of the parallels between the two, it is worth contemplating what lessons we might be able to glean from the athletic careers of others to improve our own collegiate ones. The first might be the importance of not taking the present for granted. In sports, there is  always an emphasis placed on the next game, the next season, the next summit to be strived for, just like in college there is an emphasis on the next test, the next grade, the next job or the next graduate school. This emphasis on the future is part of what makes us great, what makes us never settle. But when it completely overshadows every accomplishment along the way, I believe something is lost. Appreciating each summit and peering up toward the next one should not be mutually exclusive, and those who are able to balance the two tend to have the most success, deal with adversity the best and be the most satisfied. A second lesson might involve learning to deal with the dynamics of intra-team competition. In sports and in college (and likely in our jobs), we face a strange dynamic in which our teammates are in some sense also our competition. We might be competing to win the race, to get playing time, to get the A+, or to get the selective internship or fellowship. The most successful teams are the ones that can balance these competing interests to make everyone better. A final lesson revolves around becoming comfortable with the effects of time. One of the most interesting parts of the profile on Jordan highlighted him watching a SportsCenter debate on whether Joe Montana or Tom Brady is a better quarterback."They're gonna say Brady because they don't remember Montana. Isn't that amazing?" Jordan quipped. The question for Jordan - and for us - is: Does it matter? Does time diminish or change the importance of Montana's accomplishments if people are partial to what they know and remember? After all, four or five years after we graduate, there will be few people at Rice who remember us.One important piece of the answer likely comes from the fact that Montana was someone who inspired Brady. Moreover, Brady is likely inspiring the next great quarterback as well as thousands of others. And Montana himself was likely inspired by a quarterback who is no longer even in the conversation. Likewise, the impact each of us has while at Rice will spread in ways we cannot fully see or understand, even as the recognition of what we have done diminishes. Is that something we can embrace?When we return to see our old organizations going in new directions, or to see our old commons filled with new and energized faces, or to see new beer bikers and chuggers becoming stars in their own right, it should not be a cause for sadness. It should be cause for nostalgia, for excitement, for a chance to share a little wisdom with those following the same path that had such a big impact on us.I hope Jordan comes to that same conclusion. I hope that when I read about him turning 60, I will again aspire to be like Mike.    I hope Jordan comes to that same conclusion. I hope that when I read about him turning 60, I will again aspire to be like Mike.    



SPORTS 3/21/13 7:00pm

Women's tennis victorious

After winning their sixth straight match Tuesday, the name of the game for the Rice University women's tennis team has been consistency. But the team has not just been winning its matches - the now 27th-ranked team has swept five of its last six opponents. The formula for success for the women's tennis team, according to Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt, has been breaking down each match one point at a time.


SPORTS 2/14/13 6:00pm

The Fifth Lap

Last week, I found myself staring at a framed newspaper from the day after Rice baseball won its first NCAA College World Series title in 2003. Even though I've seen them over and over again, whether they're on the wall at Pub, or placed in Tudor, or on a banner along the inner loop, the images from that game still cause me to pause.In some ways, it's strange the impact they have on me. I don't remember the game. At the time I didn't keep up with college baseball or Rice sports or really even know much about Rice in general.Yet for me the pictures, the murals, the old newspapers, they all stand as testaments, powerful proofs of what can be achieved from inside the hedges. The challenges at Rice, athletically and otherwise, are unique. But so are the possibilities.It's fitting that the same Stanford Cardinal ball club that Rice defeated to win its first championship will visit Reckling Park this weekend for the first pitch of the 10th anniversary season of that victory. Rice's successes and shortcomings in the decade between that championship and this weekend's series have simultaneously highlighted the strength of the program while putting into perspective how special that 2003 accomplishment really is.Since winning the championship, Rice has extended its streak of winning the conference regular season and/or tournament title to 17 years (leading to this year's Phil Jacksonesque posters of Coach Wayne Graham and all his rings). They've also now reached the NCAA tournament on 18 consecutive occasions, giving them the fourth longest active streak behind only Cal State Fullerton (21), Florida State (35), and the University of Miami (40). And since 2003 Rice has been featured in Omaha three additional times, in 2006, 2007, and 2008.The magic of that 2003 victory, however, is in some ways magnified by what hasn't been accomplished since.Rice has not made a College World Series final since 2003. In both 2006 and 2007, the team came within one victory of that platform before being eliminated by consecutive losses.Moreover, the Class of 2012 became the first class since 1996 to finish tier undergraduate careers without seeing the Owls play in Omaha, despite the team twice entering the tournament as a top08 national seed (rewarding them with home field advantage throughout the tournament) and featuring arguably the best player in Rice history in Anthony Rendon.These recent statistics are not criticisms. They should not be seen as failures or letdowns. They are simply reminders of how impressive the program's accomplishments taken together over the last two decades really are. And lest we take for granted the accomplishment of making the NCAA tournament in and of itself, it should be noted that before beginning this streak in 1995, Rice had never qualified before.Rice baseball isn't just consistently one of the best teams on campus - it is one of the best programs in the nation across all sports.Not only is it one of the best programs in the nation, it also provides a home-game experience that is not only unique and excellent, but also is a potential piece of a great Rice experience. Enjoying baseball requires slowing down, and a chance to slow down is often what this campus sorely needs.At Reckling Park, you can spend an evening out on the outfield hill enjoying the sunset, watching little kids play and young alums have bottle rolling competitions. Or you can soak in the afternoon sun from the stands listening to the rhythm of each pitch reaching the catcher's glove broken by the staccato sound of hits off an aluminum bat.And somehow in this slowed down state moments still become incredibly exciting, painfully heartbreaking, and occasionally even inspiring. There are acrobatic catches, sudden home-run shots, and phony fly-balls that get your hopes up off the bat before drifting harmlessly to an outfielder.There are those game-on-the-line moments with two men on and two men out settled by the ritual challenge between the pitcher and his ball and the batter with his bat.It's a different kind of sporting experience, but it's one that begs to be taken advantage of.So this weekend series against Stanford shouldn't be the only trip to Reckling Park. Instead, it should be a regular piece of this spring. Rice baseball can be a relaxing Saturday afternoon, a mid-week multi-inning study break, or a reason to procrastinate a little longer before starting Sunday's work.Plus, it's impossible to know when the boys with the R on their cap will give us, and the students who come after us, pictures to pause and marvel at once again.


SPORTS 2/14/13 6:00pm

2013 Conference USA Foes

According to Baseball America's Top 25 Preseason poll the Owls are only playing three ranked opponents this season, but their schedule is still daunting with key conference matchups and rivalry games.