After losing the first set to Marshall Friday at Tudor Fieldhouse, the Owls figured they would have to improve upon its .300 hitting percentage.
Rice attacked efficiently and cleanly the rest of the evening to defeat the Thunder Herd in four sets 20-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-16.
The Owls finished the match hitting a season high .450, a terrific batting average in baseball, and not to shabby in volleyball, either. Hitting percentage is number of kills (62 in this case) minus errors (12) divided by attempts (111). Rice’s previous season high was .305.
The marvelous hitting started in the second set when Rice (5-14, 2-3 in Conference USA) notched 16 kills and only committed two errors. Freshman Chelsey Harris led the way with 7 of those kills while Tyler Jenkins added four. The Owls closed the set on a 13-4 spurt. Daniela Arenas finished it off with a spike.
Rice built a 14-9 lead to start the third set, but Marshall tied it at 16. The Owls hung tough the rest of the set. With a 23-22 lead, Jenkins notched two kills in a three-point span.
The fourth set also was close for awhile. The teams split the first 32 points, before Rice closed the match on a 9-0 run. The Herd (9-11, 3-2) had six attack errors during those nine points.
Harris led the Owls with 17 kills while Jenkins totaled 14 and Kimberley Vaio contributed 11. Arenas recorded 18 digs to move up to 11th on the school’s all-time digs list.
Rice stays at home for a 1 p.m. Sunday tilt with C-USA newcomer for the Owls’ annual Dig Pink match. To make a donation, visit the Rice Volleyball Digs Pink page.