All-American Dillard Signs Pro Volleyball Contract
Four-Year Standout Will Play For Engelholms Volleybollsällskap In Sweden
DENTON — Former North Texas outside hitter Carnae Dillard’s record-breaking span with the Mean Green may be over, but her playing career will continue as the program legend signed a contract to play professionally in Sweden for Engelholms Volleybollsällskap last week.
“I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Dillard said after signing her first contract. “This is a huge accomplishment for me and my family. I’m excited to start this new journey in my life, take advantage of some new experiences and gain some perspective on different ways to play the sport of volleyball.”
Dillard amassed 2,327 kills (4.76 per set) as a four-year letterwinner for the Mean Green volleyball team, finishing as the program’s leader in kills and attacks (6,063). Her prestigious career included 53 matches of 20 or more kills, including 18 in 2015, and a career-best 31 kills on four separate occasions. The San Antonio native was an integral asset on both sides of the net, racking up 74 double-doubles throughout her time at North Texas. She also finishes as only the second Mean Green player to be recognized as an All-American selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
“Carnae has a great opportunity in the fall to take her game to the next level,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “She has worked hard for this opportunity and I know she will be challenged, but I have full confidence that her skill set and athleticism will translate well. I’m also confident that she will represent herself and North Texas with class.”
In 2015, Dillard led the nation with 5.40 kills per set, hit at a .248 clip and added 3.11 digs per set en route to her second consecutive Conference USA Player of the Year award in 2015. The five-time C-USA Offensive Player of the Week honoree set the North Texas single-season record with 687 kills while playing in all 127 of the team’s sets and starting all 33 matches.
Dillard is the most recent Mean Green player to sign a professional contract, following outside hitter Courtney Windham (2011-13) who plays for the Straubing Volleyball Team in Germany.
North Texas posted a 20-13 record in 2015, including a third-place finish in C-USA action. The team advanced to the semifinals in postseason conference play before the season ended with a loss to eventual champion No. 21 Western Kentucky on Nov. 21.