Mean Green Cannot Maintain Lead, Falls In Five
Loss Drops #MGVB To 2-4 In 2016
OREM, Utah - For the second-time in as many matches, junior captain Amanda Chamberlain set a new career-high in kills. This time, the feat would prove to not be enough as the Utah Valley Wolverines put together a late-match rally to defeat the Mean Green 3-2 (25-14, 25-20, 27-25, 25-23, 15-12) on Friday night in Orem, Utah.
"It was a tough match," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "We were good offensively most of the night due to the consistent passing from our setters and timely hitting."
The Mean Green (2-3) coasted through set one, defeating the Wolverines 25-14. North Texas demonstrated just how dominant its offense could be after hitting .500 (17-3-28) in the set, with Chamberlain setting the tone collecting seven kills in eight attempts. Utah Valley would answer the call in set two, as the team never trailed and led by nine at one point eventually defeating the Mean Green 25-20.
Coming out of the break, both teams struggled to gain control of the third set. The Wolverines would tie the match at seven after an attack error by BrynCaitlin Walker, and would go on to extend their lead to 10-7 after finishing a 5-0 run before a North Texas timeout. Utah Valley would have set point first, but Alexis Wright's 12th kill of the game would extend the set and bring the momentum back to North Texas, who finished on a three to one run to claim a 27-25 victory and a 2-1 lead.
The momentum had shifted back to North Texas as the match headed into set four, but the squad couldn't capitalize and lost the set 25-23. The Wolverines jumped out to a 7-0 lead in set three, and rode that cushion to a 15-12 set win and its first victory of the season.
"We fought hard throughout the match, but we're still learning how to close matches out," Palileo added. "We need to put this one behind us and get ready for San Jose State."
North Texas out-hit Utah Valley .246 to .193 overall, but were out-hit .330 to .208 in sets they lost. On the defensive side of the court, the team was out-blocked 15.5 to 9.
In addition to Chamberlain's career night, Wright posted another solid stat line of 16 kills in 34 attempts.
• Kills leader Holly Milam did not play tonight as she is resting an injury
• Chamberlain's 18 kills in tonight's contest broke her previous career-high of 16
• Freshman Emma Eakin played in all five sets tonight, posting double-digit kills (10) for the first time in her Mean Green career
• For the first time this season, the Mean Green had two setters with 10 or more assists in the same match. Amy Henard had 52 and Karley York had 10, respectively
• This was the first meeting between the Mean Green and Wolverines since 2014 and third all-time. The Wolverines are 2-1 in those matches
• This was the first match North Texas has lost in five-sets this season
• Meredith Bramer posted her first double-digit dig performance of the year
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas will return to the court tomorrow for two matches. First up for the Mean Green, the San Jose State Spartans at 11:00 a.m. The Mean Green will conclude its first road trip with a 5:30 p.m. match against Southern Utah.