It might be a bit of an exaggeration to describe any Rice sports program as a powerhouse. But to the extent that a Conference USA school can be a powerhouse, the Rice baseball team was one for over two decades. Between 1995 and 2017, the Owls made the NCAA postseason every single year, including a national championship in 2003, and their seven College World Series appearances (all since 1997) are tied for the twentieth most of any program.
Owl pitchers had a rough go of it this weekend, as Rice baseball lost four straight games to Louisiana Tech University by a combined total of 29 runs. Ranked No. 16 nationally heading into the weekend, the Bulldogs got to Rice’s pitching staff for 6 runs on Friday night, 7 and 20 runs, respectively, in the two games on Saturday. With the Owls losing the final game of the weekend 13-4 on Sunday afternoon, their conference record dropped to 2-9-1 on the season.
The Rice women’s basketball team, in an impressive showing, cruised to their program’s first WNIT Championship this past weekend. Despite their imminent victory, the question on my mind as the final seconds of the championship game against the University of Mississippi ticked off the clock was less than celebratory: Should the Owls have even been in the tournament in the first place?
The Rice volleyball team 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.
Following a disappointing loss to Middle Tennessee State University in the Conference USA championship game and not being selected for the NCAA March Madness tournament, Rice women’s basketball now faces the age-old question: Where do they go from here?
After barely escaping last night with a win, Rice women’s basketball fell to Middle Tennessee State University in the final seconds of yesterday’s Conference USA tournament championship game. The Owls managed to bring it to within one point during the final minute but ultimately lost the contest 68-65.
“Resiliency has been the word for our team all season,” Langley said. “This is a team that has battled through so much this season. This is the most resilient team I’ve ever coached and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Women’s basketball wrapped up their regular season schedule last weekend with a series against the University of North Texas. The Owls started the weekend on the right note, winning the Thursday night game 64-58 to clinch the Conference USA West Division title. The Owls fell to the Mean Green on Saturday afternoon, bringing their record on the season to 16-3. Despite this loss, they still enter the tournament as the No. 1 overall seed.
Rice baseball lost all three games played against the University of Louisiana this past weekend. After opening the season 2-1 in their series against Houston Baptist University, the Owls traveled to Lafayette, where they were promptly swept by the Rajun’ Cajuns. The Owls fell 7-3 in the Friday night game, and followed that up with 5-3 and 6-3 losses over the weekend, dropping their overall record to 2-4. Head coach Matt Bragga took a somber tone in describing the weekend, pointing to the lack of offensive production as a big reason for his team’s struggles.