Sept. 18, 2012
|Stephanie Nwachukwu||5||0||0||Chandace Tryon||3||0||0||Katie Norris||3||0||1|
HOUSTON -- Despite a perfect 1.000 reception percentage on 70 receptions, the University of Houston volleyball team faced a sharp-hitting Rice squad that earned a 3-0 win over the Cougars on Tuesday evening in Conference USA play.
Houston posted its best receiving game of the year, but wasn't able to build any offensive momentum, falling to 1-10 on the year and 0-1 in C-USA play. Rice improved to 8-7 and 1-0 after tallying 42 kills and forced the Cougars into 22 attacking errors.
Leading the way offensively for Houston was senior Stephanie Nwachukwu with five kills, while Cougar attack leader and captain Katie Norris and classmate Chandace Tryon each had three. Sophomore setter Caitlin Ogletree paced the squad with 10 assists, while senior Abby Simmons added seven.
RICE 3, HOUSTON 0
SET 1: Rice 25, Houston 9
After seeing a 1-1 tie disappear, Rice took advantage of its successful attacking to go on a 10-0 run to go up 11-1 on the Cougars. Waters ended the run on a kill for Houston's second point. Led by 14 kills and just two errors, Rice led 14-2 before Houston could respond with point three, which came on an Owl error. Back-to-back kills by Tryon and Nwachukwu gave Houston some spark midway through the set to make it an 18-6 game. Rice went up 20-6 before Norris, the Cougars' leading attacker, was able to notch her first kill. Sophomore Kaiti Waters added kill two, but Rice was able to close out the set with four straight points.
SET 2: Rice 25, Houston 12
Freshman Emily Howard and Norris provided Houston with a block assist early, but Rice remained in control along the net, grabbing a lead and never looking back. The Owls used a 6-0 run to go up 15-6. From there, both teams exchanged points, including kills by Nwachukwu and Norris, but Rice took advantage of five late errors by the Cougars to take a 2-0 lead on the match.
SET 3: Rice 25, Houston 16
Eight combined kills by both teams highlighted the early going of set three. Houston freshman Shelby Vance and sophomore Taylor Whileyman combined for three straight kills for the Cougars, putting Houston up 5-4. Rice regained the lead and never looked back, tallying a 7-1 run to pull ahead 11-6. A kill by Howard made it a two-point game, but three straight errors by Houston opened the gates for Rice with a four-point lead. Eight of the last 11 points between the two teams resulted in an error as Rice used a late 4-0 run to capture the match.
Houston will continue its conference road stretch with a 7 p.m. match at UAB on Friday and a 1 p.m. match on Sunday at Memphis.