LUBBOCK, Texas – The North Texas volleyball team got the start it was looking for, but couldn’t hold off a charging Texas Tech squad in a 3-1 loss at United Spirit Arena on Monday afternoon (20-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-22).
After the Mean Green (7-2) rolled in the first set with .417 hitting, the undefeated Red Raiders (8-0) had the answer for NT for the rest of the match, especially late in sets.
Carnae Dillard showed her talents with a match-high 17 kills on .256 hitting and 15 digs. Courtney Windham scored another double-digit outing with 10 kills, while Shelby Tamura led all defenders with 23 digs.
The Mean Green took an early 9-5 lead in the first set thanks to a kill from Eboni Godfrey on the left side. Windham added a cross-court attack moments later to extend the lead to 12-7 and draw a TTU timeout. Karissa Flack’s kill at the net helped NT win the race to 20, and Hanna Forst slammed a right side-kill off a Red Raider to clinch the set at 25-20.
Looking for its first upset of a Big 12 school since 2001, Windham cut the Texas Tech second-set lead to 17-15 on a solo block up the middle. Great perimeter blocking forced a handful of TTU errors late into the set that got North Texas back into things, but the Red Raiders were able to close out at 25-22.
The two teams matched shot-for-shot in the third set, until the Red Raiders finally opened a gap at 17-14 that North Texas wouldn’t recover from. NT hit .333 in the set, but TTU was a touch better at .375 and took the set, 25-20.
Kaci Eaton came alive in the fourth set looking to send things into a deciding frame. North Texas opened a 5-2 lead on the Red Raiders in the fourth, and the freshman added a pair of kills to make it 10-8, Mean Green.
The day’s longest rally marked an important swing for the Red Raiders in the fourth set, and taking it gave TTU a 20-19 edge. They would rally off three straight points, and take the set 25-22.
North Texas returns home to host the Mean Green Volleyball Classic this weekend. The Mean Green is slated to face Oral Roberts and Eastern Michigan on Friday, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Hofstra on Saturday.