North Texas Kicks Off 40th Volleyball Season On Friday
Mean Green To Face Winthrop, NDSU, Mizzou At Tiger Invitational
COLUMBIA, Mo. - North Texas volleyball opens its 2015 season on Friday from Missouri’s Tiger Invitational. The two-day tournament will pit the Mean Green against Winthrop, NDSU and tournament host Mizzou.
For North Texas, the season-opener comes after the team put together a 10-match win streak at the end of the 2014 campaign before falling to WKU, the eventual Conference USA champions. The Mean Green return nine letter winners from that squad, including C-USA Preseason Player of the Year Carnae Dillard.
Friday’s matchup with Winthrop may be the first game of the season, but it doesn’t come without potential milestones. The 3 p.m. opening serve will almost certainly mark the 100th career start for Dillard, and a win in the tournament-opening match would give head coach Andrew Palileo 40 victories as skipper for the Mean Green.
Match 1: vs. Winthrop Eagles (0-0, 0-0 Big South)
Friday, Aug. 28 | 3 p.m. CT
Live stats | Twitter
North Texas kicks off the season with its second-ever matchup against Winthrop as the two teams first met at the Charlotte Invitational in 2005. Winthrop is led by senior Rachel Lenz, a middle blocker who is coming off a First-Team All-Big South selection in 2014. Last season, her 157 blocks were just two shy of the conference’s single season record as the Eagles racked up 20 wins before falling in the Big South Conference semifinals.
Match 2: vs. North Dakota State Bison (0-0, 0-0 Summit League)
Saturday, Aug. 29 | 10 a.m. CT
Live stats | Twitter
The North Texas volleyball team may have never faced off against the Bison of North Dakota State, but head coach Andrew Palileo is more than familiar with the team after having faced them a combined 20 times throughout his career. The Bison return all six starters, plus its libero, and is coming off a season in which it advanced to the Summit League Tournament semifinals. All-Summit League players Jenni Fassbender (OH) and Emily Miron (MB) will be the opposing players to watch in Saturday’s contest.
Match 3: at Missouri Tigers (0-0, 0-0 SEC)
Saturday, Aug. 29 | 6:30 p.m. CT
Video | Live stats | Twitter
Missouri followed up a 35-1 campaign in 2013 with a pedestrian 16-17 record last season, but the Tigers are not a team to take lightly. Missouri brings back 8 letterwinners from a year ago, including 4 starters. That group is led by junior outside hitter Carly Kan, who earned consecutive AVCA Honorable Mention All-American honors over the last two seasons and tallied 19 double-doubles in 2014 to lead the SEC. Mizzou holds a 4-0 all-time record in matches against North Texas, but the Mean Green will enter the Hearnes Center looking to make history.