Volleyball Win Streak Ends With Four Set Loss To Baylor
Serving, Baylor Blocks Spell Disaster As North Texas Moves To 9-7
DENTON - North Texas entered its matchup on Tuesday with a four-game winning streak, a weekend tournament championship and a conference player of the week award to its credit. The problem was, the visiting Baylor Bears had all of those things too.
When the dust had settled on the night's match, it was the visiting Bears (11-2) that kept its winning streak intact, downing North Texas (9-7) in four sets, 3-1 (19-25, 23-25, 25-22, 22-25).
Poor serving doomed the match hosts on the night, as errors continued to kill the Mean Green's momentum and kept it from stringing runs together.
"They beat us in the serving game and it was crucial," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "It wasn't so much how many we missed, but when we missed them."
Altogether, North Texas had 15 service errors, outnumbering Baylor's eight. They were especially crucial in the match's final moments, when whiffed serves accounted for two of Baylor's final six points in the fourth frame.
Blocking also played a key role in Baylor's ability to control the match. Led by junior Tola Itiola's nine total blocks, the Bears were able to alter the Mean Green attack at the net. In all, North Texas was outdone in blocks, 12-5.
That blocking in turn led to the Bears' ability to coordinate an effective offense. Baylor senior Andie Malloy took advantage, adding 17 kills on .355 hitting for the night, while redshirt sophomore Katie Steiger was able to pitch in 13 kills.
North Texas was led by Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week Carnae Dillard, who finished with 19 kills and 10 digs to grab her 11th double-double of the year. Sophomore Alexis Wright had her best offensive match of the season, notching 12 kills on .474 hitting.
Baylor served as the final non-conference test of the Mean Green's season. North Texas opens up C-USA play on Friday with a road contest against UTEP at 6 p.m.
Despite the team's poor serving, sophomore McKenna Thornlow enjoyed the best serving night of her career. She finished with a match-leading four aces.
Dillard is now 40 kills away from having 2,000 on her career. She would become only the second person in program history to accomplish the feat.
The home court advantage that North Texas has enjoyed over the last few seasons hasn't proven itself in 2015. The Mean Green is just 3-3 at home this year.