North Texas Volleyball Closes Out Homestand With Sweep
Dillard Narrowly Misses Record As Mean Green Takes 3-0 Win Over Southern Miss
DENTON - The North Texas volleyball team picked up a crucial victory in the race towards the Conference USA tournament by downing a visiting Southern Miss team in straight sets on Friday night (25-22, 25-21, 25-23).
All eyes were on senior Carnae Dillard as she entered the primetime matchup needing only 22 kills to take the program’s all-time record. She ended the night four kills shy of completing that feat, but her 18 kills led the Mean Green offense.
North Texas (16-11, 8-4) had its share of errors on the day - tallying 17 off the attack and nine while serving - but Southern Miss cancelled out those mishaps with its lowly .080 hitting percentage in the match. That was the lowest mark the Mean Green has allowed all year, and it was a key ingredient to the team’s ability to sustain an advantage.
The host team was able to fight back from a 12-8 deficit in the first set before ultimately taking the frame by three points. While Dillard had only two kills in the first, sophomores Alexis Wright and Amanda Chamberlain led the way offensively with their four kills a piece.
Dillard came to life in the second frame, powering down nine kills in a set that was tied 11 times. North Texas leaned on the play of its outside hitter to control the match from there, as Southern Miss found itself on top for a combined two serves in the second and third frames.
Friday’s match was another experiment with the Mean Green lineup for head coach Andrew Palileo and the coaching staff. Junior Amy Henard once again played at libero, finishing the night with 14 digs, and freshmen Alex Janak and Karley York continued to split time at setter, ending with 22 assists and 19 assists, respectively.
• North Texas is now in sole possession of third place in the C-USA standings, trailing only WKU and UTSA.
• With Friday’s win, North Texas tied the all-time series against Southern Miss at 4-4.
• Even in this first matchup of the season, Dillard and Southern Miss OH Stephany Purdue have shared the spotlight at times. On two occasions this season, the pair split C-USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.
North Texas takes its last trip of the regular season next week. The Mean Green with battle Florida Atlantic at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6, before traveling to Miami to take on FIU on Sunday, Nov. 8.