Rice downs Roadrunners in four sets in home opener
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA committed 30 attack errors and was limited to a .072 hitting percentage by Rice and the Owls posted a 25-17, 25-14, 22-25, 25-11 victory on Tuesday night at the Convocation Center.
The Roadrunners (2-2) managed to hit over .100 in just one set. Junior McKenzie Adams posted her third double-double of the season with a match-high 15 kills to go along with 14 digs. Meanwhile, freshman Annie Kunes collected a match-best 17 digs and junior Brandy Huskey tallied a double-double of 24 assists and 10 digs.
Meanwhile, the Owls (2-2) were paced by Nancy Cole's 14 winners and a double-double of 16 digs and 10 winners by Mariah Riddlesprigger. Megan Murphy guided the offense to a .240 hitting percentage with 42 assists.
Rice held a 15-13 advantage in the opening frame before going on a 5-1 run to claim a six-point lead. The Roadrunners took three of the next seven points, but Riddlesprigger ended the panel with a kill on a set by Murphy. UTSA struggled offensively in the frame with eight attack errors and a .044 hitting percentage.
Rice hammered out a .333 clip in the second set to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
The Owls, who limited the Roadrunners to a .098 hitting percentage in the stanza, broke open the frame after the two clubs split the first 16 points. Rice reeled off a 12-4 run to open up an eight-point advantage. The visitors then won five of the final seven tallies, including three on UTSA attack errors, to claim the set.
UTSA raced out to a 9-2 lead following and pushed the advanatge to 16-8 before Rice netted an 8-4 spurt to pull within four. However, the Roadrunners received back-to-back kills from Kunes and freshman Kylie Schott to increase the edge to six. The Owls then picked up three consecutive points to force the Roadrunners to call a timeout. Following the stoppage in play, the two clubs split the final six points and Adams ended the set with a winner.
Rice again turned to its offensive weapons in the fourth set to put the contest away.
The Owls, who hit .350 in the final frame, received five kills apiece from Cole and Lizzy Bache. Rice forced eight UTSA attack errors, opened up an 18-9 lead and won seven of the final nine tallies to clinch the victory.
UTSA will host the UTSA Classic this weekend. Belmont (1-2) and UTEP (0-3) also are part of the tournament field and the three-day event opens at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday when the Roadrunners host the Bruins.