Volleyball Splits Final Day At North Texas Invitational
Dillard Named To All-Tournament Team As Mean Green Go 1-2 On The Weekend
2015 North Texas Invitational
Boise State Broncos
• MVP: Sierra Nobley - Boise St. - OH
• Sarah Baugh - Boise St. - S
• Maddy O’Donnell - Boise St. - MB
• Hunter Wise - Houston - MB
• Brookah Palmer - Houston - OH
• Carnae Dillard - North Texas - OH
• Lauren Walker - Abilene Christian - MB
DENTON - The Mean Green volleyball team sputtered its way through the second and final day of the North Texas Invitational, splitting Saturday’s contests and finishing 1-2 on the weekend.
The first match of the day, an 11 a.m. matchup against a winless Abilene Christian squad, went to five sets as the two teams traded games one through four. North Texas hit .355 in the first frame to give the Mean Green an edge, but five service errors in the second set brought the offense to a lull. Eventually, North Texas was able to snag the 15-9 five-set win in what was a disorderly game for both teams.
In the tournament’s finale, Houston was able to alter the Mean Green attack at the net. Nine Cougar blocks - compared to NT’s four - made a big difference for Houston. Errors also proved costly as North Texas ended the night with a combined 32 attack/service errors, 11 more than the opposition.
While North Texas forced extra points in set three, Houston was able to take the frame 27-25, sweeping the Mean Green in three.
All-tournament selection Carnae Dillard moved up on the program’s all-time digs list for the second time this season; Her 42 digs on the weekend moved her to fourth in North Texas history (1,151).
The senior also powered down 39 kills in Saturday’s matches on a combined .330 hitting. The Mean Green’s attack percentage was telling in both of the day’s games. Against Abilene Christian, North Texas hit .305, its second-best mark of the season. The page was flipped against Houston, as the tournament host hit just .176.
Despite the underachieving results of the weekend, freshman Karley York took advantage of added minutes in the Mean Green offense. The San Antonio native tallied 43 assists to lead the efficient offense in the day’s first match.
“I like the different energy that she brings,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “We want to give her a chance to make some positive plays.”
As Palileo and staff struggle to find some consistency on the team, the North Texas coach already had some perspective on the squad’s current standing.
“There’s going to be moments when you face adversity and we’re at one of those moments,” Palileo added. “We’ve got to respond. The players have to respond and the coaches have to respond.”
This is why we coach.”
Up Next For The Mean Green
North Texas now prepares to play its last of five straight home games. Stephen F. Austin comes to town for an evening matchup at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from the North Texas Volleyball Center.
• Despite having lost only five home matches in 2013 and 2014 combined, North Texas has dropped two of four matches in Denton this season.
• Amanda Chamberlain is currently ranked ninth in Conference USA for hitting percentage, an impressive .329