DENTON (6/25/04) -- The 2004 North Texas volleyball schedule, which features home matches against TCU and SMU, looks to be challenging and will pit the Mean Green against some tough competition in the upcoming season as it looks to build on last year’s 22-win campaign.
North Texas is set to face TCU on Oct. 26 and SMU on Nov. 10. The Horned Frogs and Mustangs each won 20 matches last season and went a combined 43-23 last year. In addition to the Mean Green’s Metroplex rivals, six other teams on the schedule won at least 20 matches and 14 had a .500 or better record. In nonconference play, NT will face two schools that advanced to the 2003 NCAA Tournament in Kansas (22-11) and Valparaiso (27-8). While those two matches will be played on a neutral court in a tournament setting, the Mean Green will catch Sun Belt Conference Champion and NCAA Tournament qualifier New Mexico State once at home (Nov. 5) and once in Las Cruces (Oct. 3).
"Having such an overall young team next season, we feel this schedule will really be a challenge to us," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "Unfortunately, we were unable to schedule as many home matches as we would have liked, but the competition level will be tough and we are going to see what we are made of right away."
The Mean Green will open the season at Tulsa on Sept. 1 before playing in the Oral Roberts Tournament (Sept. 3-4), which is the first of three regular-season tournaments on the NT schedule. The Mean Green will also compete in the Texas Tech Tournament (Sept. 10-11) and St. Louis Tournament (Sept. 17-18).
"Our non-conference tournaments should allow us to develop and grow as a team before starting conference play," said Headrick. "Unfortunately, there is one less weekend of nonconference play this year, which I think would really be an and advantage to a young team and without that weekend we were unable to host the Mean Green Classic. We will hopefully reestablish our tournament again next season."
Although North Texas is not hosting the Mean Green Classic in 2004, it will hold the program’s first Mean Green Alumni Game under Headrick. The game is scheduled for Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. and will feature former standouts such as Corina Marginas (NT’s all-time kills and digs leader) and Kristin Sheppard (NT’s all-time assists leader).
North Texas will host Texas Southern on Sept. 14 in its first home match and will host Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 24 in its first Sun Belt Conference match.