JONESBORO, Ark. - The reigning Sun Belt Player of the Week,
Carnae Dillard, teamed up with a killer block from Courtney Windham to help the
North Texas volleyball team roll Arkansas State, 3-0, to extend one of the best winning streaks in school history (26-24, 25-16, 25-17).
Dillard landed 12 kills on .370 hitting for the Mean Green
(17-5, 3-0 Sun Belt West), which kept the Red Wolves (10-8, 1-2 Sun Belt West)
off balance with a .304 team attack percentage. NT has now won seven straight
matches, which ties for the second-longest streak in school history, and can
match the school record with a victory Saturday night at UALR.
North Texas enter the week ranked 36th in the nation
in blocks, and Windham did her best to make sure the Mean Green
climbed even further up the charts. NT out-blocked ASU 13-4, and the junior
sent back two solo blocks and nine assisted blocks – the most assisted blocks by
a Mean Green player since Brittney Gregory landed 10 in 2004.
The outing moved Windham into ninth place in school history
in assisted blocks in a season with 88. At 4.0 assisted blocks per match,
Windham is on pace to shatter the school record of 119 held by Kim Martin in
NT robbed the Red Wolves of a sure first-set victory. After
trailing the entire frame, by as many as four points, Dillard and the Mean
Green used a late 7-2 rally to grab their first lead at 25-24. Dillard provided
three kills in the decisive run before Windham slammed home the set-clinching
kill moments later.
ASU wouldn’t recover from the first-set collapse, and in
fact, wouldn’t lead again in the match.
A kill from Eboni Godfrey capped off a 6-1 NT run to open
the second set, and a Karissa Flack kill extended that lead to 12-3. Kaci Eaton
entered to put down North Texas’ final two kills in the 25-16 second-set crushing.
Arkansas State made it too easy for the Mean Green late in
the third set, giving NT seven straight points on attack and serving errors. Windham
and Hanna Forst teamed up for a pair of blocks to close the set and the match at
North Texas now travels to Little Rock, Ark., for a Saturday
evening SBC West Division showdown against UALR. The reigning Sun Belt Freshman
of the Year, Edina Begic, leads the nation with 5.37 kills per set.