Mean Green Clinches Postseason Berth With Road Sweep
North Texas Steps Up on Pivotal Conference USA Roadtrip
BIRMINGHAM, AL. - North Texas cruised past UAB on the road in three sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-21) Sunday afternoon, clinching a spot in the Conference USA tournament. The Mean Green used a season-high team hitting percentage of .379 to dominate the Blazers from start to finish.
"We came out very aggressive today, especially with our serve," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "We stayed disciplined with our blocking plan and our defense again gave us those extra opportunities to swing."
A much improved defense shined on Sunday, with five blocks in the first set alone to set the tone early. North Texas held UAB to dismal -.061 hitting in the first frame to take a massive lead and never look back.
Junior outside hitter Carnae Dillard followed up her phenomenal "20-20" performance on Friday night with 15 kills and 10 digs against the Blazers. Her 18 double-doubles on the season trails the NCAA lead by only one.
"We picked up two good wins in very difficult road environments this weekend," Palileo added. "I am very proud of our girls."
Holly Milam, Hanna Forst and Amanda Chamberlain all recorded attack percentages over .500 to lead the offensive charge. With the victory, the Mean Green moved into a tie for the fifth position in the Conference USA standings with Florida Atlantic, an opponent they own the tiebreaker over after handling them easily at home earlier this season.
"One of our goals this season was to ensure we made the conference tournament first and we did that," Palileo concluded. "Now we have to finish our season strong and continue our growth as a team in the weeks building up to the [Conference USA] tournament."
North Texas (17-9, 8-5 C-USA) looks to continue its current hot streak of five consecutive victories and improve its tournament seeding when it takes on Rice in the final road game of the regular season. The Mean Green will attempt to avenge a 3-1 home loss to the Owls on Friday, November 7, at 6 p.m. inside Tudor Fieldhouse in Houston.
- North Texas has proven it can hang with its new Conference USA foes. The Mean Green has advanced to postseason play in its only two seasons of C-USA play, both under head coach Andrew Palileo.
- Since falling in an upset at home to Charlotte, North Texas has rattled off five consecutive victories.
- With 15 kills tonight, Dillard has now recorded double digit kills in 24 of the 25 matches she has appeared in this season.
- The Mean Green picked up its first win over UAB in program history, the all-time series is now 1-2 between the two squads.
- North Texas, now with three consecutive road victories, is on its longest away winning streak this year. It can improve to four when the Mean Green takes on Rice in the final road game of the regular season on Friday.
Around The Conference:
(October 31, 2014)
- Charlotte 3 at FIU 1
- Rice 3 at Florida Atlantic 0 (FAU clinches postseason berth)
- UTEP 3 at LA Tech 1
- Marshall 3 at Middle Tennessee 1
- at UTSA 3, Southern Miss 1 (Southern Miss clinches postseason berth)