North Texas Falls In Tough Road Battle

Oct. 11, 2014

North Texas at Southern Miss Box ScoreGet Acrobat Reader

HATTIESBURG, MS - Playing its first road game just one week removed from the tragic events of last Friday, the Mean Green fell just short of overcoming adversity and beating Southern Miss. North Texas dropped the tightly contested match in four sets (27-29, 25-22, 21-25, 23-25) at Reed Green Coliseum on Friday night.

"Sometimes you just aren't going to play well on the road, but you can still play consistent and avoid making errors," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "Tonight we just made way too many errors to be successful."

Both teams came out hot in the first set with North Texas hitting .306 as a team. Neither team wanted to drop the first frame as set points were traded back and forth until finally the Golden Eagles wrapped up the extended set 29-27. Freshman Holly Milam's 5 kills and unblemished hitting percentage weren't enough to overcome the homecourt advantage present for Southern Miss, playing on a "Dig Pink" promotional night.

North Texas looked to cruise to a set two win, leading by as much as 21-13. However, Southern Miss wouldn't go down without a fight, closing the gap before finally conceding to the Mean Green 25-22. Coach Palileo's squad seemed to be in good shape headed into intermission tied up at one all. Tonight's match would come down to which team would cool off first. Unfortunately, on this night, that team would be North Texas.

Southern Miss exploded out of the break, hitting a very impressive .395 as a team with just four errors. That mark, in combination with a dismal offensive performance (.154 hitting percentage) by the Mean Green would spot the home team a lead heading into the fourth set.
The Mean Green fought valiantly in the fourth set, scraping its way back to tie things up at 23-23 at a crucial time. What looked like it might be a huge turning point for North Texas, ended up being too much to overcome as back-to-back kills by Stephany Purdue sealed the victory for Southern Miss.

Senior Hanna Forst continues to outperform herself each and every week. Forst recorded 18 digs on Friday night, shattering her previous best of 13, which was set earlier this season against Cleveland State. The senior added 12 kills on the night, making her the only North Texas player to record a double-double in the match. 

Junior Carnae Dillard showed why her numbers top the NCAA charts this season, by adding 22 kills on .327 hitting. Dillard also recorded nine digs, just missing an addition to her nation leading double-doubles total.

Milam rounded out the Mean Green scoring with 10 kills and 6 total blocks, the latter being a new career high.

The Mean Green (12-7, 3-3 C-USA) look to rest and reorganize as they travel up to Bowling Green, Kentucky to take on Conference USA leader, Western Kentucky University (17-4, 5-0 C-USA) on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Quick Hits:
  • With 22 kills Friday night, junior Carnae Dillard now has 1,390 total career kills. Currently sitting at fourth on the North Texas All-Time Career Kills list, Dillard needs just 35 more kills to move up to the next spot and only 53 kills to overtake the second slot only three years into her career.
  • Sophomore setter Amy Henard recorded 44 assists on the night, increasing her career total to 1,830. Less than two years into her collegiate career, Henard already ranks 7th amongst the North Texas All-Time Career Assists list.
  • Senior Cami Cherry saw her first game action since hearing the news of her mother's tragic death in a car wreck on the way to last Friday's match. Cherry recorded eight assists and three digs in two sets played. She received a warm welcome in the pre-match captain's meeting from Southern Miss as she was presented a boquet of purple flowers and a card from the opposing captains. The Golden Eagles also showed their support by wearing purple headbands and ribbons in their hair. 

Around the Conference:
(Friday, Oct. 10)
  • FIU 3 at Charlotte 0 
  • Rice 3 at Middle Tennessee 0 
  • at WKU 3, Marshall 0 
  • UTSA 3 at LA Tech 1 
  • UTEP 3 at UAB 2 



North Texas Mean Green