Dillard Breaks Attacks Record As Volleyball Handles SFA, 3-0
North Texas Earns Second Sweep Of Season With Balanced Team Ball
DENTON - Senior Carnae Dillard had 35 attacks and set a North Texas career record as the Mean Green easily controlled the opposition, sweeping SFA 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-18).
While the San Antonio native had a season-low kill total and hit .171 on the night, her final attack in the match's second frame gave the outside hitter 4,921 attacks in her career, putting her at the top of the program's all-time list.
"It's great for her and it says a lot about her endurance and consistency," head coach Andrew Palileo said of his team captain. "I know she's excited but above anything she knows her teammates help her achieve these kinds of awards."
North Texas (6-6, 1-0) enjoyed a balanced offensive attack that spelled trouble for SFA (6-6, 0-0) throughout the match. The Mean Green was paced by Dillard and Alexis Wright, as each finished with a team-high 12 kills on the night. Freshman Hannah Shaw and sophomore Amanda Chamberlain each chipped in seven kills each, adding firepower to the Mean Green offense.
The play of Shaw was a particular focal point for the team heading into the day's match. All season, the Mean Green have struggled to find consistency in the offense to complement Dillard. On Wednesday, Shaw provided that consistency. In addition to her seven kills, the freshman had no errors and hit .467, the best mark of her young career.
Blocking was once again a pivotal statistic for North Texas, as the Mean Green outnumbered SFA in that category, 12-4. Chamberlain continued her dominance defensively with a match-high six blocks, giving her a team-leading 38 on the season. Three players - Dillard, Wright and Holly Milam - notched three total blocks on the day.
Despite the match's result, SFA was able to jump off to a quick start that had North Texas fans on their heels. The Ladyjacks led by as many as six points in the first frame before a 10-1 run for North Texas allowed the team to seize control of the match.
"We've been struggling and everyone's had some doubts," Palileo added. "So this is a good win for us and hopefully we can keep it going."
Up Next For North Texas
The Mean Green rounds out its pre-conference tournament schedule this week. The team will once against make the trip up Interstate 35 to Oklahoma, where North Texas will compete in the two-day Tulsa Invitational. The team kicks off the tournament with a matchup against Houston Baptist at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18. The squad will also take on Oral Roberts and Tulsa over the weekend.
Dillard passed Corina Marginas (2000-03) to take sole possession of NT's all-time attacks record. Marginas is regularly regarded as the best player to ever suit up for the Mean Green and she is volleyball's only current member in the North Texas Hall of Fame.
North Texas has won four of the last five matches against the Ladyjacks. The Mean Green have never lost to SFA under Coach Palileo, sporting a 3-0 record since 2013.
North Texas is now 4-0 on the season when the team has a higher hitting percentage than the opposition.
With her 43 assist, 10 dig performance, junior Amy Henard notched her fifth double-double of 2015.