INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – After the hottest start in school history, the North Texas volleyball team ran out of steam in a 3-1 loss at IUPUI on Friday evening (25-23, 26-16, 26-28, 25-23).
Until this season no North Texas (5-1) team had ever gotten off to a 5-0 start, and the five-straight victories tied for the sixth-longest overall win streak in school history. Playing with fire on Friday, the Mean Green found itself playing from behind against a game Jaguars (4-1) squad that hit .250 as a team.
Carnae Dillard notched a career and match high 23 kills for her second straight match with at least 20 kills. Karissa Flack hit .500 and landed nine kills for NT. Shelby Tamura followed up her 33-dig effort against UT Arlington on Tuesday with a match-high 19 digs.
The Mean Green trailed by as much as 14-9 midway through the 1st set, but tied things up at 14 thanks to May Allen's serving rally. Eboni Godfrey gave NT its first lead of the day, 19-18, on a sweeping kill from the left side, but the Mean Green couldn’t hold on.
The Jaguars once again raced out to an early lead in the second set, but a Flack block capped off a 5-0 Mean Green run to tie the set at nine apiece. Once again, IUPUI found a way to close the Mean Green out courtesy of .389 hitting in the frame.
NT turned the tables on the Jaguars in the third, grabbing a 6-3 lead on a pair of aces from Dillard. The freshman hit a cross-court kill moments later to extend the lead to 12-8. The Jaguars would catch up, but Courtney Windham closed the door with a tip kill that ended the set at 28-26 in favor of NT.
Looking to force a deciding fifth set, back-to-back blocks from Flack and Hanna Forst tied the fourth set at 19-19. Dillard’s 20th, 21st and 22nd kills of the night made it 22-19, capping a 7-0 North Texas run. The Jags tied the match at 23 on an ace, and an IUPUI block ended the set and the match.
North Texas returns to IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational action tomorrow against Ball State at 9 a.m. and Georgia State at 3:30 p.m.