Mean Green Volleyball Ready To Conquer First Road Tournament

The Mean Green volleyball team is heading south to San Marcos this weekend to play in the 2014 Delta Zeta Classic hosted by Texas State, opening with a neutral site match with Wichita State on Friday, Sept. 5 at 5 p.m.

Hot off their best start since the 2012 season, the 3-1 North Texas squad looks to improve on that mark by taking on their first road tournament of the season with tough competition. The weekend is highlighted by the tournament finale matchup between the Mean Green and the host Bobcats who are 2-2 after a four set loss to Baylor on Wednesday night. Texas State, who entered the Sun Belt Conference just as North Texas exited it, were conference tournament champions in their inaugural 2013 season. By virtue of an automatic birth, the Bobcats advanced to represent the SBC in the NCAA tournament against perennial power and defending National Champion Texas Longhorn squad. North Texas head coach Andrew Palileo hopes that this weekend will provide a crucial learning experience for a program that is trying to take it to the next level.

"The Conference [USA] tournament isn't going to be easy at Southern Miss. And once you win there, you likely have to go and play Texas in the [NCAA] tourney," Palileo said. "We have to learn to play through those tough environments."

The Mean Green have already entered a new level by setting a new precedent for conference awards. Junior Carnae Dillard's C-USA Offensive Player of the Week award, for her outstanding week one performance, makes it the second consecutive season that a player has earned a conference honor under coach Palileo. Sophomore Amy Henard won C-USA Setter of the Week in week four last season, the first ever C-USA weekly honor in North Texas history.

In their opening match on Friday night, the Mean Green will have yet another chance to take a step towards the next level by making program history. North Texas is winless (0-7) in the all-time series with Wichita State, with the last tilt a three set sweep back in 2007 in the Shocker's home tournament. If there ever was an opportune time to catch that first ever victory, it's now. Wichita State, 1-3 after falling to #19 Kentucky on the road, will have to recover from a Thursday afternoon match (5 p.m.) against Baylor before turning around and playing Texas State on Friday morning at 11 a.m. and North Texas later that afternoon.

The Mean Green are slated to face Abilene Christian (0-4) in the second match of the tournament at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. North Texas, who hasn't matched up with ACU since 1983, holds a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. The Wildcats have struggled early this season and are still looking to take their first set (0-12) in 2014. Saturday's match will be the first of a two match series with Abilene Christian this season, as the Wildcats are scheduled to open up the 2014 Mean Green Classic in Denton with a match against host North Texas on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.

For more on the rest of the tournament field, visit the Texas State Delta Zeta Classic tournament central page. Live Stats and Live Video will provided for every match throughout the tournament. Live Audio will also be available for the final match of the tournament in which North Texas takes on host Texas State on Saturday Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. 

Also, be sure to follow all of the weekend's action on Twitter and Instagram!

2014 Texas State Delta Zeta Classic Schedule
(North Texas matches only)
Friday, Sept. 5
Wichita State 2 vs. North Texas 3
(25-22, 25-18, 23-25, 13-25, 10-15)
5 p.m. Box Score Live Video Live Audio Twitter 
Saturday, Sept. 6
North Texas vs. Abilene Christian 11 a.m. Live Stats Live Video Live Audio Twitter
Texas State vs. North Texas 7 p.m. Live Stats Live Video Live Audio Twitter



North Texas Mean Green