Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA to open Conference USA play on the road at No. 23 Rice

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA will open its 2022 Conference USA volleyball campaign this Friday, Sept. 23, when it travels to Houston to face off with the 23rd-ranked Rice Owls. The match will be streamed on and is set to start at 6 p.m.
The Roadrunners (5-7) will square off with the red-hot Owls (10-1) in what will be both teams' Conference USA opening game. UTSA enters conference play after hosting two straight non-conference tournaments which saw the Roadrunners go 4-2 across the six games. Rice is riding a six-game win streak that includes wins over No. 17 Creighton and power five schools Texas Tech and Kansas State. The Owls' lone loss on the season came at No. 18 Oregon.
Leading the Roadrunners
Four different Roadrunners have appeared in all 46 sets so far for UTSA. Among those four players is newcomer Cansu Günaydin who is leading the way for the UTSA offense. The Rutgers transfer has a team-high 164.5 points scored and 148 kills. Through 12 matches, Günaydin has 12 aces, the second most on the team, as well as 99 digs and a total of seven blocks.
Also appearing in all 46 sets is junior middle blocker Amanda Ifeanyi who is second on the team in points with 110 points to date. Ifeanyi has 91 kills and a .326 attacking percentage. On defense, Ifeanyi has 22 digs and 34 total blocks, the second most on the team.
The other two Roadrunners who have played in each set are fellow middle blocker Alicia Coppedge and freshman defensive specialist Ava Camacho. Coppedge sits at third on the team in points (102) and kills (81). Coppedge has been a star on defense as she currently leads the Roadrunners in total blocks with 40. As a true freshman, Camacho leads the team in digs with 201 and has six aces to her name.
Senior setter Courtney Walters continues to set the table for her teammates, as the McKinney, Texas native has 351 assists on the season. Walters set a career-high earlier this season at the UTSA Invitational as she tallied 61 assists in a set.
Observing the Owls
Rice has three student-athletes that have notched over 100 kills through 11 matches so far this season as Anota Adekunle (125), Danyle Courtley (123) and Sahara Maruska (108) lead the offensive charge for the Owls.
Rice setter Carly Graham has totaled 433 assists through 11 matches and is averaging 10.1 assists per set. Graham is also second on the team in aces, tallying 10 to date.
On the defensive side of the net, Nia McCardell leads Rice in digs with 232 while Adekunle (35) and Satasha Kostelecky (29) lead the team in blocks.
Series history
When the two teams meet Friday, it will be the 36th all-time meeting between the two schools Rice holds a 28-7 advantage in the series and the Owls are currently riding a 12-game win streak against UTSA, dating back to 2016. In games played in Houston, UTSA is 4-18 with its last win at Tudor Fieldhouse coming in 2015.
Up next
After beginning its C-USA slate on the road, UTSA will return home to kick off its conference home-opener as Florida Atlantic comes to town next Friday, Sept. 30. Next Friday's match's theme is beach night, and the action is set to begin at 6 p.m. The match will be streamed on
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