North Texas Sweeps Florida International
Mean Green Picks Up First Conference Victory
MIAMI – Holly Milam showcased her versatility as she led the North Texas volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-18) victory over Florida International on Sunday afternoon. The senior middle back posted a team-high 11 kills, along with five digs and three blocks on the defensive side of the match.
“We just wanted to play our own game and worry about our side of the net,” Milam said. “We focused on being disciplined in every aspect and it paid off for us.”
The Mean Green (13-2, 1-1 C-USA) jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the first frame, led by sophomore Emma Eakin, who had a pair of kills and an ace early on. North Texas would extend the lead to 20-12 later in the set after an Alex Janak ace and a pair of kills for Eakin and Milam, who paced the Mean Green with five kills in set one. Seniors Amanda Chamberlain and Alexis Wright posted the final two North Texas kills to set up and seal set point.
“We started very well today and executed our game plan defensively and offensively,” North Texas head coach Andrew Palileo said.
The second set marked another hot start for the Mean Green as they raced out to a 9-2 lead, thanks to four FIU attack errors and five kills from four different players. Junior setter Karley York, who recorded a double-double with 34 assists and 11 digs, posted a pair of kills to help North Texas open an 18-10 advantage and force a Panther timeout. Chamberlain registered two of her five kills in the second set to help establish another Mean Green set point, which was clinched on a FIU service error.
In set three, it was the Panthers who enjoyed a fast start, getting out to a 6-2 lead over North Texas. The Mean Green responded with a run of their own, scoring five straight points, highlighted by another Janak ace and Eakin kill. After FIU went back on top, 9-8, North Texas rattled off another 5-0 run thanks to three consecutive blocks by junior middle blocker Jordyn Williams. A kill and an ace by Milam led another Mean Green run of four points to go ahead 18-12. Janak’s second kill set up match point, and Williams capped off her explosive set with the match-sealing kill.
“Our serves all season have been tough and get teams out of system,” Milam said. “Today, that was no different. We served tough and that let the blockers focus in on one hitter.”
North Texas returns home for the final power-five matchup on the regular season slate against Oklahoma on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
• The Mean Green matched their 2016 win total with Sunday’s victory (13).
• Eakin posted a season-high eight kills in her first start on the year.
• With 34 assists and 11 digs, York recorded her third-straight double-double.
• For the ninth time this season, Chamberlain recorded an attack percentage of at least .500.