INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A motivated North Texas volleyball team took its frustrations out on Ball State in a 3-0 sweep in Saturday morning action at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational (25-14, 25-23, 25-20).
If losses can serve as wakeup calls, North Texas (6-1) answered Friday’s defeat at the hands of IUPUI with enthusiasm, downing the Cardinals – an NCAA Tournament at-large selection a year ago – with .231 hitting and eight service aces.
Libero Shelby Tamura notched 20 digs, which gives her at least 20 digs in three of the last four outings, and four of NT’s eight aces.
In fact, it was Tamura’s serve that led NT to a 25-14 first-set win. Back-to-back Tamura aces dropped in the Ball State (3-3) back line to give NT an early 4-0 lead, which the Mean Green extended to 6-0. NT poured in six aces – four from Tamura – in the first set, and led by as much as 11. Windham was nearly unstoppable with five kills on .556 hitting and four blocks in the frame.
Windham picked right back up in the second set, pounding a cross-court shot that gave NT a 6-2 edge. The Mean Green beat the Cardinals to the 20th point, and gave itself a crucial three-point cushion, 23-20, thanks to an Addason Lamb ace. BSU tied the set at 23 apiece, but Carnae Dillard slammed home a kill and Windham logged her sixth block of the day to seal the set for NT, 25-23.
Hanna Forst had the hot hand early in the third set for NT. The sophomore posted two kills and a solo block to put the Mean Green ahead 4-1. The Cardinals kept it close for most of the set, but a pair of BSU errors put NT in prime position at 21-17. Dillard closed the door with a kill to end things at 25-20.
NT faces Georgia State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.