Dillard's 25 Kills Leads Volleyball Past UTEP In Sweep
North Texas Earns Fifth 3-0 Win of Season, Improves to 2-0 In C-USA Play
EL PASO - The North Texas volleyball team rolled into UTEP’s historic Memorial Gymnasium looking to add to an unblemished Conference USA record. By Friday night, the Mean Green had done just that as the team knocked off the Miners in three sets; 25-19, 25-21, 25-21.
North Texas (10-7, 2-0 C-USA) was led largely by senior Carnae Dillard, who tallied an impressive 25 kills in just three frames of play. Her .449 hitting percentage was the outside hitter’s second-best mark of the year, and she got involved in about every other facet of the game, finishing with 13 digs, two aces, one block and an assist.
“You don’t see matches like that very often,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “I think it shows the evolution of her game. She’s seen just about everything a team can do to stop her and she’s managed those moments.”
The 3-0 finish doesn’t indicate the closely contested battle that ensued following the first set of the day. After the Mean Green rolled to a 25-19 win in that frame, UTEP (6-10, 0-2) was able to keep it close in the second set, even finding itself with a lead in the frame’s final moments.
With North Texas down 18-20, Dillard once again took over. The captain used three kills and two aces to single-handedly score five of the team’s final seven points in a second frame that gave the Mean Green a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
In a third set that once again highlighted UTEP’s ability to keep it close, North Texas was able to score at just the right moments, tallying six of the last eight points to win the frame and take the team’s fifth sweep of 2015.
Sophomore Holly Milam was a consistent force for the Mean Green as she finished Friday’s match with eight kills on .467 hitting to go along with five blocks. Meanwhile, sophomore Chelsea Abii had her most efficient match of the season, finishing with five kills on .833 hitting.
North Texas will take on the Roadrunners of UTSA at 1 p.m. on Sunday from the Convocation Center in San Antonio.
• Dillard’s 25 kills is a new three-set best in C-USA. The senior now owns four of the conference’s top five kill totals in three-set matches this year.
• Sophomore Mikali Myers made her third start on Friday. Myers finished the night with three kills and three blocks.
• Redshirt freshman Taylor Haskins saw added minutes on the court against UTEP. On Friday, Haskins finished with one service ace and three digs.
• Freshman Jordyn Williams played in her third match of the season on Friday.