Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Monday, November 28, 2022 — Houston, TX

Daniel Schrager


SPORTS 11/21/22 11:56am

Volleyball beats No. 20 Western Kentucky in title game to reach C-USA hilltop

In 2019, the Rice volleyball team took on Western Kentucky University in the Conference USA final only to lose in a five-set heartbreaker. They got another shot at the Hilltoppers in the following year’s title game, and again in 2021, but both times WKU came out on top. Just ten days earlier, while not in the conference tournament, the Hilltoppers beat the Owls in a fifth-set tiebreaker to secure the C-USA regular season title. Sunday, though, the result was different. The No. 22 Owls finally made it past their conference rival, on the No. 20 Hilltoppers’ home court no less, to secure a conference title for the first time since 2018. After the match, head coach Genny Volpe said that she was thrilled to see her team rewarded for their efforts all year.


SPORTS 11/19/22 10:02pm

Volleyball sweeps UTEP in semis to set up rematch with WKU in final

Like clockwork, death, taxes, and whatever other cliché you want to use to describe mind-bending consistency, No. 22 Rice volleyball will face No. 20 Western Kentucky University in the Conference USA final yet again. The Owls secured a finals spot against the top-seeded Hilltoppers for the fourth consecutive year with a sweep of the University of Texas at El Paso in Saturday’s semifinal. According to head coach Genny Volpe, the Owls executed their game plan almost perfectly to punch their ticket to the final.


SPORTS 11/15/22 10:49pm

Volleyball misses out on C-USA regular season title to WKU by inches

Whenever the Rice volleyball team plays Western Kentucky University, the two head coaches have a running joke. “[WKU head coach] Travis [Hudson] and I always joke, ‘let’s get ready for a five set match,’ because we know it’s going five,” Owls’ head coach Genny Volpe said. Thursday’s game between the two Conference USA heavyweights was no exception. It took the Hilltoppers five sets and a tie-break to claim the conference regular season title over the Owls in the closest you’ll get to an instant classic in small-conference volleyball.


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 12:43am

“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 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 10/18/22 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 10/4/22 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 9/27/22 11:43pm

New approach might make volleyball more dangerous

The idea that losing a key player can make a team better – often called “addition by subtraction” – has been at the center of many a hot take over the years. At first glance, the Rice volleyball team would appear to have a case of addition by subtraction on their hands this season. After losing their all-time kills leader, outside hitter Nicole Lennon, the team has somehow gotten better this season.