North Texas Sends Off Seniors with Sweep of UTEP
Mean Green Finishes Regular Season with Nine Straight Wins, Five Straight Sweeps
DENTON - Seniors led the way on Saturday night, as North Texas made quick work of the outmatched Miners in three sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-14). With the victory, the Mean Green clinched the No. 3 seed in next week's Conference USA tournament.
"UTEP did a great job of putting us in tough situations that we didn't handle well," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "In the end, I thought we did what we needed to do tonight to get the job done."
On a night dedicated to them, North Texas seniors Eboni Godfrey, Hanna Forst, and Camille Cherry turned out impressive performances crucial to tonight's victory. Forst led all scorers with 11 kills on 33 attacks, two service aces, and 1.5 total blocks en route to a game-high 14.5 total points contributed to the offensive performance. Playing through an imense ammount of emotion, Cherry picked up 17 assists to lead the way for the Mean Green setters. Godfrey also added a team-high 13 digs to the defensive side.
"Our seniors won for the last time in the North Texas Volleyball Center tonight," Palileo added. "All three were great leaders and the recent success we've had is due to their hard work and attention to detail."
This senior class is responsible for a 37-9 record in front of a home crowd over the last three seasons and a 17-11 record in its first two seasons of transitioning into Conference USA. Earlier this season, the group of three led North Texas to its best start in program history at 9-1 through the first 10 matches.
"As we move towards the tournament, I like the way we're playing as a team," Palileo concluded. " I know we look forward to getting back in the gym this week to prepare for a solid tournament run."
After winning the last nine matches of the season, the Mean Green will enter next week's tournament as arguably the hottest team in Conference USA. North Texas has clinched the third seed and will play the first round on Friday, November 21, but will await the bracket announcement to find out their opponent and match time.
- With the Rice loss to UTSA and North Texas victory, the Mean Green finishes in a tie with Rice for third in the final Conference USA standings. North Texas wins the tiebreaker over the Owls to take the #3 seed in the C-USA tournament.
- Since falling in an upset to Charlotte at home on October 17, North Texas has rattled off nine consecutive wins (including five straight at home) to finish the regular season.
- North Texas has won 27 of the last 30 sets played, sweeping seven of the last nine matches and five consecutive. The Mean Green has won 16 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), finished the 2014 campaign with a 9-2 record against Division I volleyball programs in the state of Texas in 2014. North Texas won all four games of a Lone Star State series to close out the season.
- With the victory, North Texas' 2014 campaign currently has the fifth most wins in program history, heading into postseason play. The 21 win total is the most since the Mean Green won 26 games in 2012, the last year of Sun Belt play.
Around the Conference:
Nov. 15, 2014
- UTSA 3, at Rice 0 (UTSA clinches #1 seed, North Texas clinches #3 seed)
- WKU 3, at Middle Tennessee 0