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Saturday, June 22, 2024 — Houston, TX

Daniel Elledge

NEWS 8/28/13 7:00pm

Owls' expectations rise as they prepare for Johnny Football

Rice students returned to the classroom this week, but the football team has been on campus since Aug. 5 preparing for the upcoming season. The Owls open their season this Saturday at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas, where they take on an old rival, Texas A&M University and its Heisman-winning quarterback, sophomore Johnny Manziel.Head Coach David Bailiff said expectations are high for the Owls this season because of the strong finish of their 2012 campaign. After starting last season at 1-5, the Owls won six of their final seven games, including a win at the Armed Forces Bowl against the U.S. Air Force Academy. Bailiff said the Owls need to follow up their successful season with another one, something that is unprecedented for Rice. He also said that with the talent on this team, the Owls should be competing for more than just finishing above .500."With the expectations [we have after last season], we expect to go to bowl games now," Bailiff said. "We expect to go to conference championships. It's just not something that you look out and think they are not achievable. Our goal is to be 1-0 each week and work hard at the end and see how it all falls out."One major factor playing into these expectations is Bailiff's belief in the leadership among his players. From its 7-6 team last year, Rice is bringing back 23 seniors, including 19 in their fifth year. Bailiff said he enjoys the level of maturity and the sense of pride and dedication he sees in his players."We have 23 seniors," Bailiff said. "Nineteen of them are fifth-year players, so they are invested in this program and invested in this university, and they have provided tremendous leadership, the things you hope for as a coach as seniors take over."Redshirt junior safety Gabe Baker agreed with Bailiff. Baker said this year feels different and that he and the team fully believe they are ready to take the next step."I kind of have the mentality that I am going all in," Baker said. " You have to come with that mindset every year, but we kind of have this different atmosphere, this different feeling as a team that it's been unique from all the years I have been here so far. It just creates that much more excitement and higher expectations for what we can accomplish."Bailiff and Baker said there are plenty of signs of optimism heading into the Texas A&M game but that it will be a struggle. Texas A&M is ranked in the top 10 in both the USA Today coaches' and Associated Press polls and has not lost a home game to a non-conference foe in five years. Bailiff said that to get prepared for the game, the team has practiced with loud music all week to get the players accustomed to using nonverbal signals for audibles."You can't communicate," Bailiff said. "You have to communicate nonverbally in those environments, so we have been piping in the music so we know we got our hand signals down."Baker said containing Manziel is going to be a difficult task, especially with the loss of senior linebacker Cam Nwosu and cornerback Phillip Gaines. However, Baker said that with the surplus of seniors, there is still enough depth to help keep Manziel in check."We have enough experience on the back end and the front end where we can still play with that intensity," Baker said. "I think we will be able to deliver out there. We have some great linebackers that can play, so we are still all the more confident."Bailiff said the odds are not ideal but that there are many positives to take away from this game. He said he hopes he can look back and see this game as a launching pad for what he hopes to be an amazing season."We want to win this football game," Bailiff said. "Bottom line, we need to get better at what Rice does, and that is what the non-conference games are all about, so when we walk off that football field, we need to be a better football team."             

NEWS 5/14/13 7:00pm

Women's tennis finishes season 21-5

After winning the Conference USA tournament and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, Rice women's tennis returned to the national tournament for the second year in a row. The team made history last year with its first appearance in the Sweet 16, and the Owls have maintained a similar record this year. The Division I NCAA tournament includes the top 64 teams in the nation, automatically choosing the 31 conference winners and choosing the remaining bids based on each team's record. While last year's 18-9 record allowed the then-No. 39 Rice a spot in the tournament, this year's team's C-USA victory April 21 guaranteed entrance for the 20-4, 20th-ranked Owls as of May 1. This is Rice's sixth appearance in the NCAA tournament; Rice won an NCAA matchup for the first time last year.Head Coach Elizabeth Schmidt said she thought the team's past experience with tournament play would help them this year. "I think participating last year will just help [the team] be more comfortable heading into the first round," Schmidt said. "And I think equally as important [are] all the matches they have played this season. They have been tested multiple times, and that makes them match-tough going into NCAAs."Schmidt's theory seemed to prove true when Rice won its first-round matchup against Pepperdine University May 10. The Owls were in a tough spot after losing the doubles point but rallied to win four of the six singles matches to eke out a 4-3 win. Rice then lost its second-round matchup against No. 12 Stanford University on May 11. Stanford started off strong, winning the doubles point and then five of the first six singles sets, according to Rice Athletics. While senior Katie Gater and junior Kimberly Anicete both came back to win their second sets, the Owls ultimately could not rally for the win and lost in the Sweet 16.According to Rice Athletics, the loss to Stanford marks the end of a 16-match winning streak and leaves Rice with the second-highest regular season ranking in its history.

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.

NEWS 3/13/13 7:00pm

Men's tennis faces losses

The Owls have faced many speed bumps this season and this weekend did not spare them as they split a Saturday doubleheader. Rice suffered another stinger last weekend, dropping a  match to Pennsylvania State University 4-3. The Owls did not get discouraged, however, and they rebounded with a 4-0 win over Abilene Christian University.

NEWS 1/16/13 6:00pm

Men's Track season starts

After a much deserved winter break, various members of the men's cross-country team put on their running shoes and got back out in their respective events. Joining the rest of the men's indoor track team the season started rapidly at the Texas A&M University 12-team Indoor Invitational.

SPORTS 3/14/12 7:00pm

Graham already solidified place in history before Hall

Rice University baseball was not always the way it is now. In its first 78 years of existence, baseball only had seven winning seasons. They were the laughing stock of the Southwestern Athletic Conference as they never finished higher than second place and finished dead last 24 times. Just like with many of its other major Division I sports, Rice was not up to par with some of the big boys like The University of Texas and Texas A&M University.

SPORTS 2/22/12 6:00pm

Is super conference really better for Owls

With the college conference landscape changing more than it ever has, the Owls were wondering when the effect of realignment would finally reach them. Conference powers the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, University of Central Florida and archrival University of Houston accepted invitations to join the Big East starting in 2013, leaving Conference USA and Rice in a gigantic hole.

NEWS 12/2/10 6:00pm

Volleyball picks up win to close out season

Returning to the Tudor Fieldhouse floor after a halftime intermission, the volleyball team was staring at the possibility of ending their season on a low note. The team had lost its previous two matches at the University of Tulsa (30-2, 20-0 C-USA) 3-0 and a heartbreaker at Southern Methodist University (25-6, 17-3 C-USA) 3-2. The Owls were down 2-0 at home against the University of Houston (19-13, 13-7 C-USA) on senior night and were on the verge of falling into a three-way tie for fifth place in Conference USA. Rice's star senior setter Meredith Schamun had to leave the game in the second set because she was feeling ill. In short, everything was going wrong for Rice. However, the Owls would not let their season end so quietly. After Houston won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-23, Rice fought back, winning the next two sets 25-21 and 25-19 to push this intense match to an all-deciding fifth set. The Cougars were not done fighting either, but their effort was not enough, as Rice edged them out in the fifth set 16-14 to win the match 3-2. It was a season sweep for the Owls, as they had also defeated the Cougars 3-0 in their first C-USA match of the season.

NEWS 11/18/10 6:00pm

Volleyball swept by Marshall, takes out ECU

It was an up-and-down weekend for the volleyball team, as they finally ended their three-game home losing streak by defeating East Carolina University (1-27, 0-16 C-USA) 3-1 on Saturday, but not before they were handed a deflating 3-0 loss by Marshall University (10- 18, 4-12 C-USA) on Friday. Against Marshall, the Owls could never quite gain momentum; every time it seemed like they were going to catch up, the Thundering Herd pulled away to take the lead and eventually take the set. Rice fell to Marshall in straight sets in one of their worst home losses of the season, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21. For the match, senior middle blocker Nancy Cole had 18 kills, while junior outside hitter Jordan Meredith had 12. Senior setter Meredith Schamun led the team with 22 assists and senior libero Tracey Lam had 12.