Rice stuns No. 3 Texas in first-ever victory over Longhorns
HOUSTON - 0-36.
That was Rice volleyball's record against the University of Texas dating back to 1982 heading into Wednesday's showdown inside Tudor Fieldhouse. Coming out of the in-state showdown, the record looked a little different.
The Owls stunned the nation with a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Texas, marking the first win for Rice over Texas in program history in front of a record-breaking 3,012 fans.
"We tried to approach this match like we do many others, just focus on the process and doing our jobs and trusting that we have the talent and experience to go toe-to-toe with Texas," Rice coach Genny Volpe said in a press release. "We believe we can compete at the highest level. Sometimes we forget that. We lost a match over the weekend that hurt our confidence a little bit. But we came out today and remembered who we are and the work we've put in. To me it was a quality win against a quality team and it means that we're taking steps forward as a program."
Why does Rice play Texas?
Sound On. pic.twitter.com/ubHJGIGCMa
— Rice Athletics (@RiceAthletics) September 19, 2019
This marked the first-ever win over a Top 10 program by Rice (10-1). The Owls last went five sets with a Top-3 ranked team back on Sept. 17, 2004 when Volpe's-led Owls fell in five games to then No. 1 Minnesota.
The loss was only the second of the season for Texas. The other came to No. 1 Stanford. Former Ridge Point star Skylar Fields registered 12 kills for the Longhorns.
Rice was led by former Cinco Ranch star Nicole Lennon, who finished the match with 23 kills and 13 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. Lennon is the reigning Conference USA co-Offensive Player of the Week.
Former Klein Collins standout Tabitha Brown led the Owls with 28 digs, while former Concordia Lutheran star Adria Martinez registered a team-high 30 assists with former Oak Ridge standout Carly Graham had 19.
Rice next faces TCU on Saturday inside Tudor Fieldhouse with first serve set for 2 p.m.