BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Carnae Dillard and the North Texas volleyball team punched their ticket to the Sun Belt Tournament finals for the first time in school history with a 3-1 win over No. 2 seed Troy on Friday afternoon (23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18).
Dillard, the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, pounded the Trojans (21-12) with 31 kills, which is just shy of the SBC Tournament record of 33 set in 1993. The Mean Green (25-11) will face No. 1 seed Western Kentucky, which is ranked 17th in the country, at 1 p.m. on ESPN3.
Now with 25 wins on the season, North Texas passes the magical 1995 NCAA Tournament squad for victories, and is just a single win behind the 1977 squad for the school record in that category.
Troy, led by All-Sun Belt pick Courtney Cohen, out-hit the Mean Green .295 to .268 and edged out a 25-23 first-set win. North Texas wouldn't be outdone the rest of the day, hitting at least .250 in each of the remaining sets.
Dillard, the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, was just one kill shy of her career high of 26 kills through three sets. Her 31 kills are tied for the 11th most in school history, and aren't far off of Troy's entire team total of 50 kills.
She was joined in double-figures by Karissa Flack (10 kills) and Courtney Windham (10 kills), who posted a match-high seven blocks.