Teakell's Stellar Afternoon Lifts North Texas Over Florida Atlantic
Freshman Records First 20-Kill Match
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Freshman outside hitter Barbara Teakell recorded her first 20-kill performance to lead the North Texas volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 24-26, 25-23) win over Florida Atlantic on Sunday afternoon. Teakell also posted a career-high four blocks, along with 12 digs and two assists.
“It feels great, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and Jesus Christ,” Teakell said. “I just focused on having a clear mind, staying engaged with what was going on, and cheering my teammates on.”
The first set was a back-and-forth affair as neither school led by more than two until a block by Teakell and senior middle back Holly Milam gave the Mean Green a 23-21 lead. Junior setter Alex Janak established set point with the first of her four aces, and Teakell capped off the set with her team-high seventh kill to seal the set for North Texas.
“Barb had a very good game all around today,” North Texas head coach Andrew Palileo said. “I thought we had a matchup advantage with her, and Karley kept giving her the ball in a good location.”
After the teams battled to an 8-8 tie to begin the second set, the Mean Green rattled off a 9-2 run, led by a pair of kills for freshman outside hitter Valerie Valerian and senior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain. Chamberlain and Valerian joined Teakell in double digits with 10 kills and 18 kills, respectively. After Milam brought up set point, senior outside hitter Alexis Wright slammed down her second kill of the match to take a two-sets to none lead. The North Texas defense allowed 14 kills in the second frame after allowing 21 in the first set.
“The biggest difference today on defense was our ability to communicate effectively and staying disciplined,” Palileo said.
With the Mean Green trailing 3-0 to start the third stanza, Chamberlain took control of the game, recording two kills and a block to put North Texas on top, 5-4. The teams exchanged leads similarly to the first set until the Owls pulled away, 20-17. Chamberlain recorded another pair of kills and blocks to knot it up at 23-23, but FAU outlasted the Mean Green to take the set. However, North Texas finished with half of their 14 blocks in the game.
“The biggest thing we focused on with the block was tracking and staying with our hitter,” Teakell said, “and we did a great job achieving our goal.”
North Texas answered the dropped set by jumping out to an 8-1 lead in the final frame, led by a trio of kills for Wright. Chamberlain’s 15th kill of the set helped the Mean Green open up their lead to eight points at 13-5. Four kills for FAU’s Jordan Yauch led the Owls on a 10-2 run that tied the game at 15 apiece. A pair of kills by Teakell gave North Texas a 20-18 advantage, and Chamberlain recorded three kills down the stretch, including the match-winning point.
North Texas concludes a three-game roadtrip against Charlotte next Sunday at 1 p.m.
• The Mean Green’s 6-1 start in Conference USA marks the best start since joining the league in 2013 and the best in any conference since 2002.
• In addition to recording her 900th career kill, Chamberlain passed Courtney Windham for the sixth-most total blocks in school history (330).
• With 52 assists today, York has back-to-back matches with at least 50 assists for the first time this season
• The Mean Green’s 14 blocks are the most in a match since Aug. 26.
• Janak tied a career high with four aces in the match.