Jeff Huehn/UTSA Athletics

UTSA to host No. 21 Rice in Friday night action

SAN ANTONIO – UTSA volleyball returns to action tomorrow, Oct. 28, as it hosts the nationally-ranked Rice Owls in a Friday-night matchup. Opening serve is set for 6 p.m. and the match will be streamed on both and Stadium Plus.
The Roadrunners (7-14, 2-7) will look to snap a five-game losing streak against No. 21 Rice (18-2, 8-0) in front of a Friday night home crowd. Rice has dropped just two matches this season, one to No. 18 Oregon and one to No. 13 Baylor.
Fans who attend tomorrow night's match are encouraged to show off their seasonal spirit and dress up in their Halloween costumes. Candy will be distributed to those who participate before the match.
Leading the Roadrunners
The Roadrunners are led offensively by Rutgers transfer Cansu Günaydin who leads the team in both points (261) and kills (231) while being second on the team in aces (19). Günaydin has also tallied 158 digs, the second most on the team, and has 19 total blocks. She has appeared in all but one set on the season for the Roadrunners and has been the go-to offensive threat.
Two Roadrunners have appeared in all 81 sets on the season. Among those two is junior middle blocker Alicia Coppedge. Coppedge boasts 186 points on 146 kills as she sits second on the team in each category. On the defensive side of the net Coppedge leads all Roadrunners with 75 total blocks and also has 12 digs.
The other Roadrunner mainstay is true freshman defensive specialist Ava Camacho. Camacho leads the team with 352 digs, the sixth most in the conference, and has tallied the most digs amongst any C-USA player in a five-set match (40) and a four-set match (31). Camacho was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 3. Camacho also has 11 aces on the season, the fourth most by any UTSA player.
Senior setter Courtney Walters continues to set up her teammates, as the McKinney, Texas native has 562 assists on the season. Her 562 assists are the eighth most in the conference and Walters holds the high mark for most assists in a match by any C-USA player this season as she tallied 60 against McNeese earlier in the year.
Junior outside hitter Kelsey Carpenter is one of five Roadrunners who have over 100 points and 100 kills as the Midlothian, Texas native has 153 points with 134 kills. Her 2.06 kills per set are the second most on the team and not far behind her is freshman Katelyn Krienke who averages 2.04 per set. Krienke has tallied 158.5 points and also has 137 kills to date.
Scouting Rice
Rice has four student-athletes that have notched over 150 kills through 20 matches so far this season as Anota Adekunle (225), Sahara Maruska (211), Danyle Courtley (193) and Ellie Bichelmeyer (166) lead the offensive charge for the Owls. Adekunle totes the best hitting percentage of any player in Conference USA with a .413. Her .413 hitting percentage is the 11th highest in the nation.
Rice setter Carly Graham has totaled 778assists, the second most in C-USA, and is averaging 9.97 assists per set. Graham is also third on the team in aces, tallying 19 to date. Graham is behind Maruska (20) and Nia McCardell (28) in terms of aces for Rice.
Speaking of McCardell, she leads Conference USA in digs per set with 5.03 (392 total). Her 5.03 average places her 21st in the country. Also on the defensive side of the net, Adekunle (63) and Satasha Kostelecky (55) lead the team in blocks.
Series history
UTSA and Rice will be meeting for the 36th time in program history on Friday with the Owls holding a 12-game win streak. Rice owns the overall edge over UTSA, 28-7 and hasn't dropped a set to UTSA since 2018. UTSA is looking for its first win at Rice since 2015, having lost seven straight on the road to the Owls.
Up next
UTSA will hit the road for its next match, as it heads north up I-35 for its second meeting with the North Texas Mean Green this Sunday, Oct. 30. First serve is set for 1 p.m. and the match will be streamed on ESPN+.
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