Newcomer Duo Powers Volleyball In Opening Win


BEAUMONT, Texas - One of the most heralded incoming classes in North Texas volleyball history didn't waste any time showing their mettle. Newcomers Eboni Godfrey and Courtney Windham racked up 14 kills each as the Mean Green cruised to a 3-1 (26-24, 27-29, 25-22, 25-19) win over Lamar in Friday's season opener.

In their first matches in a Mean Green (1-0) uniform the incoming class accounted for 39 of NT's 64 kills, giving NT a leg up in the Lamar Invitational with the win over the hosting Cardinals (0-1). Overall, NT had five players in double-figure kills, including Madison Barr, who posted 11 kills on .550 hitting - both career highs.

The Mean Green rallied from a 3-point deficit in the first set thanks to the deceptive serve of Hallie McDonald. Down 11-8, McDonald's serve teamed up with kills from Windham and Godfrey to put NT on top, 14-11. Moments later, a Godfrey cross-court kill extended that lead to 19-13.

Lamar posted an 8-2 rally to take back the lead at 22-21, but Windham hit a line-drive kill to the baseline to tie the set at 24 apiece. Then a pair of Cardinal attack errors gave NT the set at 26-24.

McDonald's killer serves continued throughout the night as the freshman racked up a pair of aces on a match-high 24 serves.

Godfrey used her head - literally - to claw NT back into the second set. The freshman dug an LU attack off her check, and Windham was able to turn it into a Mean Green kill to take an 11-10 edge. The two squads battled late into the set before Lamar squeaked out a 29-27 score to even the match.

NT was the aggressor out of the gate in the third set, jetting out to a 6-3 lead on a Melanie Boykins center-court slam. The senior sent an awkward Lamar dig straight into the McDonald Gym floor. Godfrey pushed the set to 18-14 when the Cardinals backline couldn't handle her shot, and NT cruised to a 25-22 win.

Much like the third set, North Texas controlled the deciding set from start to finish.

North Texas returns to action tomorrow against Houston Baptist at 10 a.m. and Texas Southern at 4:30 p.m. The Mean Green will host UT Arlington in its home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.



North Texas Mean Green