Chamberlain's 19 Kills Drives Comeback Victory Over UTEP
North Texas Wins Fifth Straight
EL PASO – Senior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain’s team-high 19 kills fueled North Texas to a 3-1 (28-30, 25-12, 25-21, 25-23) road win over UTEP on Friday evening. The Lakewood, Calif., native committed just two errors on 28 attempts to finish the match with a .536 attack percentage.
"I just focused on keeping my arm high and hitting the shots I normally hit if that works," Chamberlain said, "then I keep doing that until they find a way to stop it."
Chamberlain led the Mean Green to a 6-2 lead to start the match behind four kills and a block, but the Miners would work the game to a 13-13 score. After Chamberlain put set point in sight for North Texas with her seventh and final kill of the set, the teams battled back and forth as the frame saw six combined set points, with UTEP claiming the final one on an attack error by freshman outside hitter Valerie Valerian.
“I thought we came out with good energy,” Mean Green head coach Andrew Palileo said. “We got an early lead, but UTEP did a good job of just playing and forced us to make some errors we don’t normally make.”
With the score knotted at 5-5 early in frame two, the Mean Green rattled off an 8-1 run, highlighted by back-to-back aces by freshman libero Henrianna Ibarra. Four different North Texas players posted a pair of kills down the stretch as the Mean Green finished the set on a 20-7 run, capped off by a kill for freshman outside hitter Barbara Teakell. North Texas was flawless on attack, recording 14 kills with no errors on 26 attempts (.538).
“We just wanted to play a cleaner game like we’ve done for most of the season,” Palileo said. “Once we settled down, the girls were able to get into a rhythm.”
After the Miners jumped out to a 5-2 advantage to start the third set, they committed four straight errors to hand North Texas a one-point lead. The frame had seven more deadlocked scores en route to a 17-16 UTEP lead, followed by a Mean Green timeout. North Texas pulled away with four straight points, led by a kill and a block for senior outside hitter Alexis Wright. A kill for Teakell established set point for the Mean Green, and another Miner error gave North Texas the set.
In the deciding fourth set, a pair of kills for senior middle back Holly Milam helped the Mean Green to a 6-3 lead. North Texas never led by more than four in the set, allowing UTEP to bring the game to a 19-19 stalemate on a Briana Arellano kill. Chamberlain’s final kill of the night gave the Mean Green the lead for good, and Wright posted the team’s final two kills to set up and seal match point.
"UTEP is a good team and they weren't going to let us win in their house no matter who we are or what our record is," Chamberlain said. "We just had to come together, play as a team and have more energy than they did to win."
North Texas continues its C-USA roadtrip against Florida Atlantic at noon Sunday.
• With three block assists, Chamberlain passed Courtney Windham for fifth in school history in career block assists (260).
• Junior setter Karley York recorded a season-high 57 assists while setting a career single-season high with 802 total assists this season.
• Ibarra has eight service aces in the last four matches.
• Valerian fell one shy of tying her career high (16) with 15 digs on Friday.
• Teakell’s 14 kills are her most in a match since Sept. 8 (15).