DENTON, Texas (3/26/09) Something was missing for the North Texas volleyball team on Senior Day last November seniors. So it’s no wonder that head coach Cassie Headrick walks around practice these days with an eager grin on her face as the Mean Green kicks off its spring slate this weekend in San Marcos, Texas.
The Mean Green returned all 14 lettermen from last year's squad to the spring drills, which began on March 2, as well as 6-foot 3-inch newcomer Brittany Brown. Even more impressive was the attitude that the team had grown into over the offseason. Unsatisfied with a subpar 2008, this group is looking to show the rest of the nation that this bunch is poised for a comeback.
“I’m really excited about where we are right now. If we keep playing like we have all month, I think we will really progress this spring,” Headrick said. “We need to see if we can pickup the speed of the game, but if we can do that, we will bring a pretty tough team to the floor for the fall.”
NT heads to the Texas State Spring Tournament on Saturday, its first of four spring tourneys this offseason. North Texas will take on St. Edwards at 10 a.m., St. Mary’s at 11 a.m., Baylor at noon and Texas State at 2:30 p.m.
Headrick says the Mean Green will dabble with its lineups this weekend to see what combinations might work best for the fall. The key, she says, is to help build confidence for her young squad, which returns more lettermen than any other team in her tenure.
The most potent of those lettermen are outside hitters Roxana Casvean, Amy Huddleston and Salah Schoenecke. The three standouts combined for 809 kills and 374 digs in 2008 and will power the Mean Green offense in 2009.
Brown joins the Mean Green as a versatile two-sport star at El Dorado High School in Kansas. In volleyball, she was named to the First-Team All-AVCT League last year after earning second-team honors as a junior. She also was a standout on the El Dorado basketball team.
After this weekend’s action, the Mean Green will be in Houston for the Texas Tornados Spring College Tournament. North Texas will take on Texas State, Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M on Saturday.