DENTON, Texas – North Texas and Louisiana-Lafayette went all the way to a fifth set for a third straight meeting, but this time the Mean Green had the answer in a thrilling Sun Belt opener (22-25, 27-25, 27-29, 25-22, 15-11).
Freshman Carnae Dillard notched a match-high 21 kills for a North Texas (15-5, 1-0 Sun Belt West) team that hit .321 on the day. The Ragin’ Cajuns (9-8, 1-1 Sun Belt) countered with .257 hitting, but 15 Mean Green blocks turned the tide.
Courtney Windham, who leads the SBC in blocks per set, notched a career-high eight blocks, including a trio of solo put-backs. Karissa Flack wasn’t far behind with six blocks.
The Mean Green trailed 6-2 early in the second set, but rallied behind a high-flying Dillard. She racked up 10 kills in the second set alone, including the set winner at 27-25.
NT controlled the fifth set defensively, holding the Cajuns to .087 hitting, and pulling away late in the set.
Shelby Tamura tied for the match lead with 22 digs, while Dillard and setter May Allen both notched 11 digs.
North Texas returns to the Mean Green Volleyball Center on Sunday against ULM at 1 p.m.