DALLAS (4/10/10) - The North Texas volleyball team proved that last month's hot play was no fluke, splitting three matches against ratcheted-up spring competition at Moody Coliseum on Saturday.
The Mean Green split a pair of sets with Wichita State before sweeping Louisiana Tech and falling to Stephen F. Austin. NT, under the direction of new head coach Ken Murczek, is now 4-2-1 this offseason with a couple of outings to go.
"I thought we made some great progress in running our middle attack when we're not in system," said Murczek. "I thought our effort and execution were on par with our goals in the first two matches, but unfortunately we couldn't carry that over into the third. We learned some great lessons to build on for next weekend, and look forward to competing then."
Rachelle Wilson was a force for the Mean Green all day, kicking off the morning with blocks on each of Wichita State's first two attacks. NT kept the Shockers off balance with aggressive serving and crisp passing from Kayla Saey, and led wire to wire for a 25-21 first-set win. WSU, which advanced a round in last year' NCAA Tournament, bounced back in the second frame for a 25-21 victory.
NT was off kilter early against Louisiana Tech, but erased a four-point deficit to tie the set at 20-apiece. Wilson slammed home a kill to give NT its first advantage of the match, and a later kill sealed the set at 25-23.
Perennial All-Sun Belt outside hitter Amy Huddleston was electric against the Bulldogs, landing a kill to give NT a 12-8 advantage and an ace to extend the lead to 17-11. Fittingly, Wilson's block ended the set at 25-20.
Roxana Casvean and Lacy Reasons started the Stephen F. Austin match in style, with Casvean's kill giving NT a 5-3 edge and Reasons' block extending the rally a point longer. But, SFA caught up at 13 apiece and was able to hold off the Mean Green for a 25-22 win. The close match continued into the second frame, but the Lady Jacks pulled out a 25-19 win.
North Texas will head to Fort Worth next weekend for a handful of matches at TCU and will play host to UT Arlington on April 22 at 4 p.m.