North Texas Volleyball Upsets Oklahoma On The Road
Mean Green Pick Up First Win Over OU Since 2001
NORMAN, Okla. - It was the upset that almost never was, but in the end the North Texas volleyball team had just enough to finish off the Oklahoma Sooners in five sets, 3-2 (15-25, 25-22, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13).
Despite the Sooners (1-4, 0-0 Big 12) owning the advantage in nearly every statistical category, North Texas (3-3, 0-0 C-USA) did lead in perhaps the biggest key area of the night: blocking.
"I think they were surprised that we had 13 blocks on them and that was a huge factor," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "Defensively we hung in there and our blocking definitely forced them to change up their shots."
Amanda Chamberlain led the way at the net for the squad, totaling a team-high seven blocks over her five sets played. Like Chamberlain, sophomore Holly Milam was able to keep the momentum going from the morning's win over Central Arkansas, as she had four total blocks and chipped in nine kills.
But North Texas wasn't always the clear frontrunner in a match that was full of ebbs and flows. The Mean Green dropped set one by a score of 15-25, in large part due to a lowly .037 hitting percentage. The team then used a more efficient attack, paired with a barrage of Sooner attack errors, to take sets two and three before OU forced a decisive fifth set with a four-point fourth frame win.
In the final set, it was more of the same. North Texas came hot out of the gates, at one point having as much as a six point lead before the Sooners scored eight out of 10 points to tie the final frame at 10-10. Luckily, North Texas survived the streak and was able to come through in the match's critical moments.
Senior Carnae Dillard had three of her match-high 22 kills in those final five points. As expected, she was also involved in the match's other key areas, notching 14 digs and three total blocks to help the Mean Green secure the victory.
"We really just came together as a team tonight," Dillard said. "We stayed positive, encouraged each other and that was a great thing."
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas will look for a sweep of the invitational field when it matches up with Little Rock tomorrow morning. The Mean Green will take on the Trojans at 10 a.m. from the McCasland Fieldhouse.
• Despite the North Texas win, OU led the Mean Green in kills (68-49), attack percentage (.242-.193), assists (62-47) and digs (63-57).
• This was the first career win over OU for head coach Andrew Palileo, and it was the team's first win over the Sooners since a five-set victory in 2001.
• With 43 assists and 12 digs, junior Amy Henard picked up her third double-double of the season. Dillard posted her fourth double-double of the year in tonight's win over OU.
• Dillard's 132 total kills is currently tops in Conference USA, and her 5.08 k/s is good for second in the league.