DENTON, Texas - It's not often that a volleyball team gets out-hit, out-dug and out-blocked and still pulls out the win, but North Texas won't argue with its 3-1 comeback victory over South Alabama on Sunday afternoon (24-26, 28-26, 25-13, 25-17).
The Mean Green (17-9, 9-2 Sun Belt West) has now won six straight matches for the first time since 2006, and holds a two match lead over Arkansas State for the Sun Belt West Division lead. The Jaguars hit .235 to NT's .233, held a 67-66 edge in digs and out-blocked the Mean Green 10-7. The squads tied with 61 team kills and 23 attack errors.
South Alabama (9-15, 4-5 Sun Belt East) rolled the opening set with .366 hitting, and dominated much of the second. That's when NT awoke. The Mean Green shook off a Jaguar 23-19 second set lead and rattled off a 9-3 run to take the frame, 28-26, on a powerful Amy Huddleston kill.
Huddleston tallied a match-high 18 kills on the day, including the set clincher in the third frame as well. Rachelle Wilson joined her in double figures with 14 kills on .414 hitting, and Melanie Boykins wasn't far behind with 10 kills.
North Texas owned the fourth set after jumping out to a 12-5 lead following a USA attack error. The Mean Green forced the Jags to hit -.083 in the fourth and never allowed them to contend in the 25-17 lopsided win.
Sarah Willey was the Mean Green's top defensive threat with a match-high 16 dig performance. Shelley Morton added 13 digs, while Kayla Saey notched her team-best 11th double double with 52 assists and 10 digs.
NT will face its toughest Sun Belt tests to date next weekend with Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky coming to the Mean Green Volleyball Center. Friday's match against the Blue Raiders tips off at 7 p.m., while Sunday's action is slated for 1 p.m. followed by the year's final free youth clinic.