Sept. 2, 2014
IRVING - Junior outside hitter Carnae Dillard has earned the first Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week award of the 2014 season for her performance in the North Texas Invitational tournament this past weekend in Denton.
Dillard, who led the team in kills last season, kicked off this season right where she left off. In the season-opening five set victory over Northwestern State, she recorded a double-double with a 30 kill, 15 dig performance. Head coach Andrew Palileo opted to rest her in a game with an outmatched Mississippi Valley State opponent, to prepare her to face No. 15 Missouri later in the day. The strategy proved to pay off, as Dillard recorded yet another double-double with 29 kills and 12 digs. Both of the weekend kill tallies nearly eclipsed her career high of 31, set last season at Marshall.
"Carnae had a great all around weekend," Palileo said. "She was pivotal in our win against a very good Northwestern State team and definitely gave us the opportunity to win against Missouri."
Unfortunately, Dillard's efforts weren't enough to complete the upset over No. 15 Missouri, as the Mean Green fell short in a heartbreaking five set loss (25-17, 17-25, 29-31, 25-18, 12-15).
For her performance, she was named to the North Texas Invitational All-Tournament team by a vote of the coaching staffs. This is the junior's first Conference USA honor in her career.
"She has worked hard to become a complete player and this award is just the start for her," Palileo added.
Dillard currently leads the team in kills with 75 in 13 sets played, and looks to add to that total Friday afternoon (5 p.m.) in San Marcos when the Mean Green take on Wichita State in the Texas State Delta Zeta Classic.
For more on Carnae Dillard's
Player of the Week award, visit the Conference USA's week one award release