Mean Green Rocks Roadrunners In Fourth Straight Sweep

Nov. 13, 2014


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DENTON - With a rocking crowd on hand inside the North Texas Volleyball Center on Thursday night, the Mean Green took down Conference USA leader UTSA in three sets (25-21, 27-25, 25-17) of dominating action. North Texas has yet to drop a set in the month of November, taking 13 straight en route to their season high eighth consecutive victory.

"[UTSA] is a good team, there's a reason why they were 14-0 [in conference play] coming in to the match," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "They were just a little bit off tonight, but I also thought we took advantage and worked our game plan really well."

In complete contrast of the Sept. 28 matchup between the Mean Green and the Roadrunners, North Texas controlled most of the match and finished strong. No matter how hard they tried, UTSA could not slow the onslaught of a hot North Texas team in front of an energetic home crowd.

"Sometimes we've had trouble closing out sets, but tonight we did a better job of that," Palileo added. "We've been focusing on controlling our side of the net - when we're given opportunities [by our opponent], we're then stepping through that door and creating opportunities for ourselves."

Led by the arm of AVCA National Player of the Week Carnae Dillard, who recorded 25 kills on .450 hitting, North Texas recorded its fourth straight game with a team hitting percentage of over .300 with only 12 total errors on the night. Defending Conference USA Setter of the Week Amy Henard also contributed 40 assists to the impressive all-around offensive effort.

"After the things we've been through this year as a team, I feel like we're finally emotionally back," Palileo commented, on the momentum heading into postseason play. "I'm sure that if we get to where our team wants to go, we will see [UTSA] again,"

Peaking at just the right time, North Texas has played themselves into a scenario that could land the Mean Green the No. 3 seed heading into the Conference USA Tournament next week. If Rice (21-8, 11-4 C-USA) loses to UTSA (18-8, 14-1 C-USA) and North Texas (20-9, 10-5 C-USA) defeats UTEP (6-20, 4-11 C-USA) at home on Senior Night Saturday at 5 p.m., the bracket shakeup will be complete.


Quick Hits:
  • After the over-capacity crowd in Sunday's win over TCU that forced the ticket office to turn late-comers away, another large crowd was on hand Thursday night to witness North Texas' upset of UTSA. The loss was the Roadrunner's first in Conference USA play since October 13, 2013, breaking a 22 match C-USA win streak.
  • Since falling in an upset to Charlotte at home on October 17, North Texas has rattled off eight consecutive wins (including four straight at home), the longest streak of 2014.
  • North Texas has won 24 of the last 27 sets played, sweeping six of the last eight matches and four consecutive. The Mean Green has won 13 straight sets and has yet to have dropped a set in the month of November.
  • The Mean Green, after defeating three straight NCAA RPI Top 100 teams (at Rice, vs. TCU, vs. UTSA), is now 8-2 against Division I volleyball programs in the state of Texas in 2014. North Texas has won the first three matches of a four game Lone Star State series to close out the season, with UTEP left to go in the season finale.
  • For the second straight match, North Texas has defeated an opponent (TCU, UTSA) for the first time in the respective all-time series since 2002. The Roadrunners still hold a 15-8 advantage over the Mean Green in a series that dates back to 1979.
  • With the victory, North Texas has secured its 6th 20+ win season in program history. It is the first since the Mean Green won 26 games in 2012, the last year of Sun Belt play. If North Texas defeats UTEP on Saturday, the Mean Green's 2014 campaign will have the fifth most wins in program history, heading into postseason play.



Around the Conference:

Nov. 13, 2014

  • at Charlotte 3, Middle Tennessee 1 
  • Marshall 3 at Rice 2
  • at WKU 3, UTEP 0

 

 

North Texas Mean Green