DENTON (8/25/05) - The North Texas women's soccer and volleyball teams open the Mean Green fall season with away matches on Friday, August 26. Mean Green soccer competes in the Miner Classic at UTEP on Friday and Saturday, while the volleyball squad travels to Fayetteville, Ark., to compete in the Arkansas Invitational over the weekend.
The defending Sun Belt Soccer Champions will play Eastern Illinois on Friday at 2 pm, and then squares off against the host team on Saturday at 2 pm. As a group, the three teams combined for 42 victories and a .746 winning percentage a year ago.
EIU is coming off a 13-6-2 season in which it won its fourth-consecutive Ohio Valley Conference tournament title and its fifth in six years. The Panthers welcome back nine starters and 20 letterwinners, but begin a new era under first-year coach Tim Nowak. The game between North Texas and EIU is one of just seven around the country to feature two teams that participated in the 2004 NCAA College Cup. The other six opening day games between teams that were in the tournament a year ago are Wisconsin at Creighton, Michigan at Kansas, Dayton at West Virginia, Auburn at Rice, UCF at Pepperdine and Washington at Penn State.
UTEP enters the weekend coming off a 13-5-1 season in which it finished second in the WAC at 5-2-1. The Miners return seven starters and 12 letterwinners, including sophomores Jami Tullius and Cara Nordin. They tied for the team lead with 10 goals in 2004.
The volleyball team also opens its 2005 season on Friday at noon with a matchup against Belmont in the Arkansas Invitational. The four-team round robin tournament includes Arkansas, Belmont, Memphis and North Texas. The Mean Green plays a second match on Friday against Arkansas at 7 pm and concludes play against Memphis on Saturday at 2 pm.
The soccer team plays its first home game on Wednesday, Aug. 31 against Texas State at 7 pm. The volleyball squad will play at SMU and at the Baylor Invitational before opening its home schedule on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7 pm.