Volleyball Dominates Marshall In Straight Sets
Chamberlain Leads With 13 Kills
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. - The North Texas volleyball team swept Marshall, 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-15) on Friday evening at the Cam Henderson Center. The Mean Green dominated most of the match, trailing once at the beginning of the third set.
"I thought our energy to start the match was good, which allowed our transition game to get going," North Texas head coach Andrew Palileo said.
Senior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain led the team with 13 kills at a .650 clip and two blocks. Freshman outside hitter Valerie Valerian joined Chamberlain in double-digits with 10 kills and a team-high seven digs.
"We had a lot of good opportunities and we executed on each one," Chamberlain said. "I'm really proud of our team. We knew tonight was a big game, and I think the games last week helped us prepare for this week."
Chamberlain wasted no time taking control of the match with North Texas' first four kills, as the team opened up a 5-1 lead on the Thundering Herd. After senior Holly Milam gave the Mean Green (23-2, 10-1 C-USA) a 21-13 lead with her fourth kill, Marshall (9-17, 4-7 C-USA) went on an 8-1 run to close the gap to 22-21. Chamberlain recorded two of the team's final three kills to hold off the comeback and give North Texas set one.
"Our team is known for having a spread offense, so we start every game off spreading the ball around," Chamberlain said. "I think Karley did a great job at doing just that, and if something is working for us, we use it until the other team stops it."
The second frame belonged to Valerian, who led the Mean Green with five kills in the set, beginning with a pair that gave North Texas another early lead at 6-3. The gap would expand to 16-9 after freshman libero Henrianna Ibarra recorded back-to-back aces, followed by two more kills for Valerian to take an 18-11 lead. Chamberlain helped to close out the set with back-to-back blocks, the first of the match for the Mean Green, to put set point in sight at 23-15. North Texas capitalized on a pair of Marshall attack errors to take a two-sets-to-none lead.
"I think we just locked in a little better toward the end," Chamberlain said. "We knew their game plan and who they were going to set, but we just couldn't line them up right until the end. Once we figured it out, we were able to start getting good blocks."
The Mean Green leaned on one of their greatest assets, the service ace, to win the final set. Ibarra and freshman outside hitter Barbara Teakell recorded two of the team's five aces in the frame to eliminate the Thundering Herd's first and only lead of the night. After Teakell tacked on a trio of kills, Milam recorded her lone ace of the match to take a 14-7 lead. Ibarra's final ace of the night gave North Texas a commanding 20-10 lead, and three Marshall attack errors down the stretch allowed the Mean Green to close out the match.
"Our serving has been a big part of our offense," Palileo said. "Anna and Alex were able to come in and establish a rhythm tonight."
North Texas looks to extend their win streak to a program-record 12 matches against Louisiana Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday
North Texas' 10-1 start to conference play is the best in program history.
Ibarra now has the fifth-most aces (23) among freshman in the rally era (since 2001).
Friday marks the seventh match this season the Mean Green have had at least eight aces.
With eight kills, Teakell has the eighth-most kills (208) among freshman in the rally era (since 2001).
Chamberlain extended her double-digit kill streak to seven matches.
Janak has recorded at least one ace in all but four matches this season.