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."
One of the greatest accomplishments in human history took place 50 years ago as we celebrate the inception of the Apollo program and the first time anyone set foot on the moon. We pay tribute to the teams it took to get us there, the program that was started seven years before that planned it all, the men and women that were involved, and above all else the mentality that the accomplishment instilled in every single American. The famous speech made by the late John F. Kennedy, delivered in Rice Stadium on the 12th of September in 1962, made waves for the rebirth of the great American pioneer mentality of reaching a frontier and conquering audacious goals. "But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal?", JFK remarked, "Why does Rice play Texas?", he uttered.
The present track record between such a massive school and a smaller competitor would be one that you would expect; only reinforcing the head scratching question that JFK uttered decades ago in Rice's coliseum. The answer to these questions couldn't be simpler, yet so profound:
"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."
For tickets to Rice vs Texas on September 14th at 7PM inside NRG Stadium, visit RiceOwls.com/NRG