North Texas Battles, Falls In Four To UC Irvine
Amy Henard Secures Second Place For Career Assists
IRVINE, Calif. - The North Texas volleyball team fell 3-1(25-22, 15-25, 23-25, 18-25) to the UC Irvine Anteaters on Saturday afternoon. This was the second-straight day the North Texas volleyball team was dealt a four-set loss after securing the opening frame of the match.
Holly Milam recorded 14 kills and Alexis Wright chipped in 13 of her own in the contest. Amy Henard logged 45 assists in the match, moving her into second place for career assists.
"I am really proud of Amy and her career at North Texas," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "She has been with me since my first season and we have grown together and she is leaving this program in a much better place than when she started. She has been a model of character for our program and has represented North Texas with the utmost class.
"In my mind, she is the all-time assists leader, but because of her unselfishness, she played where I needed her to play in order for us to be successful as a team."
North Texas won the first set, but dropped the next three in the match (25-22, 15-25, 23-25, 18-25).
In the opening frame, the two teams were tied seven times with the final tie coming at 19 on a kill by Jordyn Williams. North Texas (13-19) took a two-point advantage, 22-20, aided by a kill by Alexis Wright and an Anteater attacking error. North Texas finished on a 3-1 run, securing set one, 25-22, on a UCI service error.
North Texas opened up a four-point lead in set two behind three kills from Amanda Chamberlain and one from Jordyn Williams, but UCI (13-18) rallied to knot the frame at seven and a service ace by Harlee Kekauoha gave UCI its first lead of the set.
With the score tied at 14, the Anteaters used an 11-1 run, fueled by five North Texas attack errors, to secure its first set-victory, 25-15.
Set three was another back and forth affair, with neither squad able to pull away. The teams played to a tie at 20 and North Texas took the lead, 21-20, on a kill by Milam. The Mean Green were unable to maintain the lead, and dropped the third frame, 25-23, falling behind 2-1 in the match.
In set four, North Texas held the lead early, leading by as many as three to begin the set. UCI rallied to tie the set at nine after forcing North Texas into tough shots creating errors, and wouldn't relinquish its lead en route to a 25-18 set-victory and a 3-1 match win.
The loss marked the 19th of the season for the Mean Green, but with three all-conference players returning next season, Palileo is looking forward to 2017.
"When we started the season, I felt we were in a position to progress from the previous three years," Palileo added. "I wanted our first tournament to show our team that our success would depend on being balanced compared to the previous three seasons.
"In some ways we succeeded and in other ways we fell a little short. Holly and Amanda really grew as players this season and I believe with another year of maturity and our incoming recruiting class, the foundation of success has been laid for the 2017 season and beyond."
• Amy Henard passed Kayla Saey for second place in career assists (3,890). She finsihed with 3,914 in her career
• With 14 kills, Holly Milam pushed her streak to 13-consecutive matches with 10 or more kills
• LekaLeka Kiner-Falefa made it six-straight matches with 10 or more digs, tallying 17 in the loss
• Alexis Wright reached double-figures in kills for the first time since Oct. 7
• Saturday's match was the last of Amy Henard's North Texas tenure
• This was the third-straight four-set loss for North Texas
• The 19 losses is the most in a season since 2009 (21)