DENTON, Texas (8/30/08) After a romp of Jackson State in the matinee, the North Texas volleyball team fell in a see-saw battle to Metroplex rival UT Arlington, 3-2 (25-13, 15-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11), Saturday night in the Mean Green Volleyball Classic finale.
After North Texas (1-2) forced a deciding game five, UTA (2-1) jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead it wouldn’t surrender. Christy Driscoll’s block sealed the win for the Mavericks after a back-and-forth battle that NT coach Cassie Headrick thinks helped solidify her young team.
“I think we grew up a lot this weekend,” Headrick said. “We learned a ton, and it showed with the way we played against a tough UT Arlington team. I’m really pleased with all my players. We still have some things we need to work on, but I’m certainly happy with our growth.”
Salah Schoenecke was named to the MGVC All-Tournament team after racking up a double-double versus the Mavericks. The transfer from Cal Poly piled up 11 kills and 13 digs in a leadership role for the Mean Green.
Brittani Youman and Roxana Casvean ignited the Mean Green offense with 18 and 15 kills each, while freshman libero Sarah Willey had a match-high 15 digs. Marelle Lepmets was once again sharp on her passes, dishing out a match-best 52 assists.
The Mean Green looked outmatched against the Mavericks in the opening frame. NT scored just 13 total points only one off its own serve and allowed UTA to attack at a .632 clip.
But North Texas turned the tables in the second set, pounding the Mavericks with 16 kills and five blocks.
The teams traded wins in the third and fourth sets before the crowd of 419 watch UTA seal the fifth frame.
North Texas cranked its offense into high gear against Jackson State, downing the Tigers, 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-15), in the afternoon match.
North Texas went to the middle early and often with Amy Huddleston paving the way. The sophomore tallied 10 kills on .692 hitting, which is good for the 10th best attack percentage in school history.
Huddleston’s hitting paced the Mean Green to a .290 attack percentage as a team, which the squad topped only twice last season. North Texas held Jackson State (0-3) to -.088 hitting.
Casvean was electric from the serving line. The sophomore’s six aces are the most by a North Texas player not named Brooke Engel since Brittney Gregory in 2002.
Lacy Reasons made sure her first collegiate plays were memorable ones. The freshman entered the match in the third set and served aces on her first two plays. Kayla Saey also saw her first action in a North Texas uniform, and dished out six assists.
Schoenecke once again led the Mean Green with seven digs.
North Texas heads to Tulsa, Okla. next weekend for the Oral Roberts Classic. The Mean Green will face Tulsa on Friday and Fordham and Oral Roberts on Saturday.
MGVC All-Tournament Team
North Texas - Salah Schoenecke
Jackson State - Shunta Issac
UTA - Bianca Sauls
Texas Tech - Caroline Witte
MVP - Brandi Hood, Texas Tech