MONROE, La. - The North Texas volleyball team upped its win total to 21 and picked up a crucial victory in the race for the Sun Belt West Division race by downing ULM in five sets on Sunday (23-25, 25-14, 25-12, 22-25, 15-6).
The Mean Green (21-11, 7-5 Sun Belt West) now has the fifth most wins by any team in school history, and will face off with Arkansas State and UALR next weekend to decide the division title. Carnae Dillard racked up 24 kills, while Shelby Tamura led the defensive side of things with 25 digs.
The Mean Green trailed 23-14 in the opening set, but nearly pulled off an impressive comeback. Hanna Forst led a 9-1 rally that had NT on the cusp, but ULM's Zuzana Markova landed the winning kill for the Warhawks.
NT came out refocused in the second set and took the frame wire-to-wire. After hitting just .135 as a team in the first, the Mean Green responded with .258 hitting while holding the Warhawks (5-16, 1-11 Sun Belt West) to -.057.
Even more relentless in the third, NT pounded the Warhawks with .355 hitting. NT committed just a single attack error while forcing ULM to a second straight set of negative hitting (-.138).
After ULM took set No. 4, Kaci Eaton helped North Texas jump out to a 5-2 lead in the fifth and deciding set. Another Eaton kill pushed the NT lead to 10-5 and forced another ULM timeout. A Dillard kill ended the set and the match.
NT held the Warhawks to .039 hitting as a team, but 11 Mean Green service errors proved costly down the stretch