DENTON, Texas - There will be no rest for Sarah Willey or the Mean Green volleyball team, who head to the Centennial State to take on Denver on Tuesday night after a full weekend of action in Denton. On Monday the junior was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week for a second time.
Willey tallied a combined 6.0 digs per set against Arkansas State and UALR over the weekend to collect her second nod of 2010. North Texas split those matches over the weekend, but retained its spot atop the Sun Belt West Division with a 4-2 record.
The Mean Green offense has been in high gear this season, and ranks second in the league with 13.77 kills per set and 12.96 assists per set. Not to be outdone on the defensive side of the ball, NT also ranks second in the SBC in opponent hitting percentage (.171) and third in digs per set (15.85). Willey ranks fourth in the SBC in digs per set with 4.53, and is fourth in school history in career digs with 1,067.
Denver is one of the SBC's best serving and blocking teams. The Pioneers, which are coming off a three-set loss to Arkansas State at home, rank third in each category. Tip off from DU's Hamilton Gymnasium is slated for 8 p.m. Central.
Dozen Wins ... And Counting
At 12 victories on the year, North Texas has already reached its highest win total since its Sun Belt West Division title season of 2006. The Mean Green has 10 regular season matches remaining, and can secure at least a .500 record with wins in four of those matches. Only six squads in NT history have finished with a winning record.
In The Driver's Seat
North Texas remains on top of the Sun Belt's West Division with a split against Arkansas State and UALR over the weekend. The Mean Green fell to the Red Wolves in four sets before sweeping UALR, and leads Louisiana-Lafayette by a half game for the division lead at 12-9, 4-2.
SBC Attendance Leaders
The Mean Green are atop the Sun Belt standings in another category - attendance. NT has piled in an average of 426 fans into the 600-seat Mean Green Volleyball Center.
Averaging 6.0 digs per set on the weekend, Sarah Willey was unstoppable on the North Texas back line. The junior piled up 23 kills in four sets against Arkansas State and followed it up with 19 digs in a sweep of UALR. Willey was 100 percent on 34 serve receptions, and also posted five assists and a service ace. The former Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week now has 1,067 career digs, which ranks fourth in school history.
North Texas held UALR to .046 hitting, NT's ninth opponent this year held under .100. As a matter of fact, three of North Texas' last four opponents have been held under .100 hitting.