DENTON, Texas – Following a tough pair of road trips, the North Texas volleyball team apparently got the home cooking it needed to roll the Denver Pioneers in a 3-1 (25-21, 27-25, 23-25, 28-26) win at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.
On the road in each of its last four outings, North Texas (11-11, 2-5 Sun Belt West) had fallen in all four, but erased that streak thanks to 16 kills and 16 digs from Shelley Morton – her seventh straight double-digit kill match, and her fourth double-double in that span.
Denver’s Faimie Kingsly singlehandedly kept the Pioneers (7-12, 4-3 Sun Belt West) in the match. The junior landed 17 kills on .652 hitting to go with seven blocks – all match highs. The match was Denver's last in Denton as a member of the Sun Belt Conference as the Pioneers will be moving to the WAC next season.
The Mean Green was outstanding in the opening set with a .483 team hitting percentage. NT surged to a 16-10 lead thanks to a kills from Hallie McDonald, and took the set thanks to sideouts on 80 percent of DU’s serves.
A wild play from Morton helped NT late in the third frame. With NT ahead 22-21, the senior dug a DU attack off her face, which somehow passed the ball perfectly to Eboni Godfrey across the court, and the freshman placed it right in the middle of the Pioneers defense. Morton used that momentum to end the set with a cross-court kill moments later.
Godfrey, along with McDonald and Melanie Boykins all reached double-figure kills with 10 each. Sarah Willey matched Morton with 16 digs, and setter Kayla Saey racked up 46 assists and 12 digs for her fourth double-double of the year.
NT was on the defensive in the fourth set when Denver pushed a 4-0 lead to 8-3. It took the block of McDonald and Courtney Windham to help the Mean Green claw back into the match. The duo teamed up for three blocks in the set, including the go-ahead block at 22-21. Saey’s unassisted lob landed harmlessly behind the DU back line for the match clincher at 28-26.
North Texas will be back in action at Baylor on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.