Mean Green Volleyball Controls UAB In Home-Opener
North Texas Ends On Winning Side Of 3-0 Sweep, Moves To 1-0 In C-USA
DENTON - For perhaps the first time this season, the North Texas volleyball team was able to throughly control a match, downing the visiting UAB Blazers in straight sets on Labor Day (25-21, 25-20, 25-18).
Senior Carnae Dillard had a match-high 19 kills to go along with a season-best .375 hitting percentage. The team's offensive prowess and ability to target its attacks is what ultimately resulted in the convincing win, as North Texas had a team attack mark of .391 on the day.
"We were attacking the middle and taking advantage of what they were doing defensively," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "If you look at the numbers you can tell we were pretty successful."
North Texas (4-4, 1-0 C-USA) was able to put together an all-around effort that UAB (4-4, 0-2 C-USA) simply couldn't match. The Mean Green had the advantage in every statistical category by the match's end. While efficient hitting was the headliner, the team's success was apparent in other areas of the game as well.
Sophomores Holly Milam and Amanda Chamberlain continued their string of stellar play around the net. Milam notched eight kills and a team-leading five total blocks, while Chamberlain tallied three blocks and nine kills with a .500 attack percentage. Dillard and junior Amy Henard also got involved in the action, chipping in three blocks a piece.
The win adds to what is already an impressive home record for the Mean Green under Palileo. Now in his third season at the helm, the North Texas coach has amassed a 24-5 record in matches played at the North Texas Volleyball Center.
"Whenever you're playing at home you're going to have some added energy, but when our crowd starts cheering and making noise it pumps the team up even more," Palileo added. "I know we're always appreciative of our home fans making a difference in our matches."
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas will have a much needed three-day break as it prepares for its annual North Texas Invitational. The Mean Green will have its first matchup of the weekend at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, against the Broncos of Boise State. The team will also take on Abilene Christian and Houston in the two-day tournament.
With her very first assist of the night, junior Amy Henard became the fifth member of North Texas' 2,500 assist club. She tallied a match-high 37 assists on the afternoon.
Dillard's 19 kills is the highest three-set total in Conference USA to this point in the season, and the team's .391 clip is the fourth-best total for a match in the league.
With the win, North Texas evens up its all-time series with UAB. Having faced only four times, each team has won twice in a series that dates back to 1993.
The sweep of UAB was the first time this season that North Texas had been on the winning side of a three-set match. The team's record in such matches is now 1-3.