NT (18-9, 4-4 SBC) vs. FIU (5-15, 2-6 SBC)
Friday, Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m.
NT vs. Florida Atlantic (6-13, 1-7 SBC)
Sunday, Oct. 21, 1 p.m.
DENTON, Texas – The Mean Green Volleyball Center has been a cozy place for North Texas this season. Not only is NT 11-3 at home this year, but the team has won six of its last seven home matches.
The Mean Green will look to add to those win totals this weekend against the Sunshine state duo of FIU and Florida Atlantic. NT is just a game and a half behind Sun Belt West Division leader UALR with seven league matches to play, and has an opportunity to beat FIU for the first time since 2007, and build on its three-match win streak over the Owls.
With four players touching over 10 feet, North Texas has quickly turned into one of the nation’s top blocking teams. NT is averaging 2.68 blocks per set, which is good for 30th in the country. Courtney Windham is the catalyst. The junior leads the Sun Belt and ranks 16th in the country with 1.46 blocks per set.
NT still has eight regular season matches and the Sun Belt Tournament remaining, but its 18 wins already qualify it for one of the best seasons in school history. Only five teams in NT history have ever reached 20 wins, and Ken Murczek can become just the second NT coach to score a pair of 20-win seasons. The 2012 squad still has a shot at the school record of 26 wins put up by the 1977 team.
Scouting FIU and Florida Atlantic
• FIU has made two Sun Belt Tournament finals in the last six years, but has struggled to a 5-15 mark this year. The Golden Panthers have hit .148 as a team in 2012, and are led by Marija Prsa’s 3.56 kills per set. Only two players on the FIU roster are hitting over .200.
• The Owls have lost five of their last seven matches, and their last five road matches. Alessia Pizzocheri is landing a tasty 2.97 kills and 2.59 digs per set.