North Texas Completes Road Swing, Defeats Marshall, 3-1
Balanced Offense Shows Through As Mean Green Move To 13-8, 5-1
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Mean Green volleyball team capped off a two-game, four-day road trip with a four-set win over Marshall from the Cam Henderson Center on Sunday (25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19). Despite being on the road, the team won both games on the weekend and improved to 5-3 away from home this season.
North Texas (13-8, 5-1) used a balanced attack to overcome a pesky Marshall Thundering Herd team. By the day’s end, five Mean Green players had at least six kills in the match. In particular, head coach Andrew Palileo was quick to comment on the play of sophomore Chelsea Abii and freshman Karley York, who were able to take advantage of the minutes they were given.
“Chelsea came up big for us in those third and fourth sets and she did a good job of stabilizing us,” Palileo said. “Karley was able to give us some different things at setter. Those two players came in and were the difference today.”
Abii finished with six kills on .308 hitting, going along with three total blocks in Sunday’s match. Meanwhile, York tallied 23 assists as she split time with primary setter Amy Henard. The freshman also chipped in four digs and two kills.
Marshall (12-8, 3-4) was able to keep things close throughout the day. After taking the second set to even the match at 1-1, neither side could find separation in a back-and-forth third frame. However, tied 21-21, senior Carnae Dillard scored three of the team’s final four points to give North Texas the win.
In set four, the Thundering Herd once again found itself with an early lead. But, down 13-14, the Mean Green went on a 8-1 run that ultimately made the difference in the match as North Texas won the set 25-19.
Dillard finished with 19 kills as she continues her trek towards becoming the program’s kills leader. She is now 136 kills away from passing Corina Marginas on the Mean Green’s all-time list.
At 5-1 in league play, the team now has sole possession of second place in the Conference USA standings. But Palileo isn’t letting the squad’s current position distract it from the bigger picture.
“I’m aware of where we stand but that’s not something we talk with the team about,” he said. “We’re just continuously trying to get better everyday.”
• Marshall head coach Mitch Jacobs missed Sunday’s contest after receiving two yellow cards in the Thundering Herd’s last match against UAB. Assistants Taylor Strickland and Matt Jackson led Marshall on Sunday.
• Henard is 31 assists away from joining the program’s 3,000 assists club.
• The Mean Green is a perfect 10-0 when recording a higher hitting percentage than the opposition. On Sunday, North Texas enjoyed a .253-.233 hitting advantage.
• The team has now won eight of its last 10 matches.
North Texas volleyball will be back at home for its next match, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, against Louisiana Tech.