Mean Green Split Matches
UNT Wins North Texas Invitational
DENTON – The North Texas volleyball team split their matches Saturday in front of a packed arena at the North Texas Volleyball Center. The Mean Green faltered against Texas Tech before dominating Montana to finish the day 1-1.
Errors proved to be a thorn in the side of North Texas in a loss to Texas Tech, 3-1 (20-25, 16-25, 25-22, 22-25) Saturday morning. The Mean Green committed 37 errors in the match, including 27 attack errors.
A bright note from the loss was the performance of freshman middle blocker Miranda Youmans, who racked up 11 kills and nine total blocks in her first collegiate match. Senior Amanda Chamberlain led the team in kills (16) for the second time in as many matches.
“[Youmans] does that in practice for us all the time, so I just told her ‘do your thing and you’ll be fine,’” North Texas head coach Andrew Palileo said.
“My confidence definitely went up,” Youmans said. “I was nervous at first, but my teammates helped me settle in and calm down.”
After claiming the first set, the Red Raiders jumped out to a 7-2 lead after a trio of early errors by North Texas. Texas Tech would not surrender the lead again, cruising to victories in the first two sets.
“When we let a team come in and take the first two sets the way they did, it changes our mindset about our arena,” Palileo said.
With the score knotted up at 16-16 in the third set, the Mean Green went on a 6-2 run, highlighted by a trio of kills by Youmans. North Texas clinched the set on a kill by Chamberlain, assisted by junior Karley York.
In the crucial fourth set, the Red Raiders again grabbed an early 7-2 lead and led the set comfortably until an attack error tied the game at 20-20. A trio of kills by Sarah Redding fueled Texas Tech to close out the match.
The Mean Green defense shined in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-16) victory over Montana in the final game of the North Texas Invitational to claim the tournament title. North Texas allowed just 23 kills and recorded 38 digs to hold off the Griz, while not trailing once throughout the match.
“Everything from offense to defense,” junior Alex Janak said of the keys to the dominance in the match. “We blocked really well. We had a lot of digs coming up, and we put the ball down as well.”
Janak played a vital role in the early goings of the match, tying her career high with three aces in the first set. North Texas finished with six aces in the match.
“In the last three weeks, we’ve practiced serving a lot, so that’s a big part of what we want to do,” Janak said. “Having that pressure is good, because as a setter, I don’t get points a lot so that was a little motivation for me.”
“I think they put them out of system a little bit, so we were able to take advantage of that,” Palileo said.
Janak’s third ace came in the middle of a 10-2 run for North Texas, highlighted by a trio of kills by Chamberlain, who was named the tournament MVP. She finished the night with a team-high 14 kills.
While Chamberlain led the team in kills for the third time in as many games, the Mean Green attack was more balanced against Montana with eight different players registering kills and five with at least five.
“I just wanted the ball to go to certain people in certain situations,” Palileo said. “I wanted to make sure that we got everybody involved.”
Alexis Wright stepped up in the final set, recording five of her 11 kills, the last of which gave North Texas a 23-10 lead. Wright was named to the All-Tournament team, along with junior Karley York. Chamberlain sealed the victory for North Texas with her 14th kill shortly after.
2017 North Texas Invitational All-Tournament Team
|Amanda Chamberlain (MVP)||MB||North Texas|
|Karley York||S||North Texas|
|Alexis Wright||OH||North Texas|
|Taylor Horsfall (Best Libero)||L||Tulsa|
North Texas heads northeast to participate in the Boston College Tournament over Labor Day weekend. The Mean Green face Bryant at noon on Friday, Sept. 1, before taking on Princeton at 4 p.m.
• Chamberlain finished the weekend as the team leader in kills (50), block solos (3), block assists (14) and total blocks (17).
• North Texas held opponents to a .169 attack percentage.
• Karley York is now 10th in school history in career assists (1,150).