BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The North Texas volleyball team advanced to the Sun Belt Tournament semifinals for a third straight year with a 3-1 victory over No. 6 Middle Tennessee (25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-22).
The win ties the No. 3 seed Mean Green (24-11) with the historic 1995 NCAA Tournament North Texas squad for the second most wins in school history, and scores a measure of revenge against the Blue Raiders - the team that eliminated NT from the last two SBC Tournaments.
North Texas will now take on No. 2 Troy on Friday at 4 p.m. for the right to advance to the SBC title match, which is something North Texas has never done. Troy hit .306 in downing NT in October at Sartain Hall.
Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, Carnae Dillard, led the Mean Green with 22 kills, while a match-high 17 digs from Shelby Tamura helped throw off Middle Tennessee (10-23) just enough. MTSU hit.203 hitting as a team, but couldn't keep up with the Mean Green's .236 attack percentage.
After dropping the third set, Eboni Godfrey sent back the set tying block, and Dillard gave North Texas its first lead of the fourth frame at 14-13 with a service ace up the pipe. NT wouldn't stop until Karissa Flack gave the Mean Green match point, and a Blue Raider attack error ended things.
Joining Dillard in double figure kills were Courtney Windham (13) and Flack (11). Windham and Dillard teamed up this year to become the first North Texas duo to ever earn first-team all-conference selections in the same season.