LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The North Texas volleyball team had a chance to tie the 2002 squad for the longest win streak in school history, but that bid was cut short by UALR in a heartbreaking marathon match on Saturday evening (25-17, 26-24, 22-25, 24-26, 15-11).
North Texas (17-6, 3-1 Sun Belt West) had won seven straight matches, which was only one win shy of the 2002 school record. The Mean Green overcame a two-set UALR (8-8, 4-0 Sun Belt West) advantage, but the Trojans’ .249 attack percentage and late 5-0 fifth-set run sealed the match.
In a matchup that pitted two of the nation’s top young attackers, it was UALR’s Edina Begic who got the upper hand. The sophomore entered the match with an NCAA-high 5.35 kills per set, and landed 33 kills on NT – the most by a Sun Belt player this year. NT’s Carnae Dillard countered with a career-high 26 kills.
After dropping the first two sets, the Mean Green came out of the intermission on fire. Dillard landed nine kills in the third set alone, and NT hit .325 as a team in holding off UALR.
The Mean Green carried that momentum into the fourth set, using a 5-0 run to snag a 19-18 lead. NT faced set point at 25-24, but back-to-back-to-back blocks from Courtney Windham, Dillard and Windham stole the set for North Texas.
A blocking error gave the Mean Green its first lead in the fifth set at 6-5, and a UALR serving error made that a two-point cushion. After a Trojan timeout, the home squad reeled off a 5-0 run that North Texas wouldn’t recover from.
With six blocks on the night, Windham moved into the top 10 in school history in single season total blocks. The junior posted 17 blocks in the two matches this weekend, and is now in eighth place in school history.
Shelby Tamura posted a match-high 29 digs on the night, which is good enough for the 14th most in school history.