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Volleyball: Ragin’ Cajuns Defeat Host Rice Owls, Win Rice Invitational Title

HOUSTON, Texas – Rice’s volleyball team fell 3-2 (20-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-16, 7-15) to the UL Ragin’ Cajuns in their second match of the Rice Invitational I. 

The Owls (1-1) received a double-double performance from Sara Blasier in the loss, with the sophomore recording 45 assists and 11 digs. Leah Mikesky (15 kills) and Lizzy Bache (10 kills) each reached double-figures in kills. Mikesky was also one dig shy of a double-double. 
Rice senior middleblocker Jillian Humphrey led all players with seven blocks and became just the sixth Owl in school history to go over the 400 career blocks plateau. Junior Kimberly Vaio led the Owls with 18 digs and also had four service aces.
UL (2-0) had four players in double-figures in kills, led by 19 from Kaylee Nemeth. The Owls actually outhit the Ragin’ Cajuns (.174-.169) and committed fewer attack errors (27-32). 
The Ragin’ Cajuns scored the final five points of the first set to break a 20-20 tie and take the early 1-0 lead. Rice followed with their best set of the match, hitting a season-best .423 (14-of-26). 
UL then squeaked out a 25-21 victory in set three before the Owls bounced back and dominated in set four, leading throughout and converting 68 percent of their sideouts.
UL closed strong in the final set, breaking a 4-4 tie by outscoring the Owls 11-3 the rest of the way.
Rice takes on Fresno State in the final match of the Rice Invitational at 7:30 p.m.
Athletic Network Footnote:  
Louisiana-Lafayette claimed the outright Rice Invitational title by going 3-0 over the weekend, followed by Rice (2-1), Fresno State (1-2) and UC Davis (0-3).