Mean Green Volleyball Takes On Rice Tonight
North Texas Looks To Continue Climb Up C-USA Standings
|North Texas Volleyball vs. Rice|
|Date | Time||Wednesday, October 21 | 6:00 p.m. CT|
|Location||Houston, TX | Tudor Fieldhouse (5,750)|
|Live Stats||Rice GameTracker|
|Live Video ($)||OwlVision|
|Match Notes||North Texas | Rice|
DENTON - Less than 96 hours removed from taking a No. 22 Western Kentucky team to a five-set thriller, the Mean Green volleyball squad prepares for another match that is sure to shake up the Conference USA standings.
North Texas (14-9, 6-2 C-USA) makes the trip down I-45 for a midweek showdown with the Rice Owls, set for 6 p.m. tonight from the Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.
Wednesday's match will almost certainly play a role in the ever-changing conference standings. At 6-2 in league play, North Texas is currently tied with Southern Miss and Florida Atlantic for second in the conference, while Rice is right in the middle of the pack at 4-3 in C-USA.
Five-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week Carnae Dillard is coming off her third straight weekly offensive honor from the conference. The senior had a career-best-tying 31 kills to go along with 20 digs in her last time out against the Owls. She'll need to do her best to recreate those numbers if North Texas is going to come away with a win on Rice's home court, where they are 6-2 on the season.
A Look At Rice
Rice (14-7, 4-3 C-USA) is 1-2 in its last three on-court appearances and has dropped conference matches to Middle Tennessee, UTSA and North Texas previously in the season.
Wednesday's contest will be the second encounter between two teams vying for top berths in November's C-USA Volleyball Championship. The Mean Green was able to knock off Rice in the last meeting, a match in which the team took a narrow five-set win from the friendly confines of the North Texas Volleyball Center.
Always one to feature a balanced attack, Rice has four players averaging at least two kills per set. Junior outside hitter Leah Mikesky leads that group as she has 3.58 per set on .212 hitting. Sophomore middle blocker Portia Okafor is one of C-USA's premier defensive performers as her 1.17 blocks per set (94 blocks) leads the league. In total, six Owls players have won conference weekly awards this season.
• Kills leader Carnae Dillard is 92 kills away from setting the program's all-time record. She leads C-USA and the NCAA in kills (480) and kills per set (5.39), and Dillard has tallied 15 double-doubles this season.
• North Texas sits at No. 93 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings released on Monday, trailing WKU (No. 19) and Rice (No. 70) among C-USA schools.
• Rice was picked just ahead of North Texas in the conference's preseason coaches poll, as the teams were selected at third and fourth, respectively. Despite this, the Mean Green has knocked off Rice once this season and holds a better record than the Owls in conference play.