NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The North Texas volleyball team was on the verge of winning its first match in SFA's Johnson Coliseum since 1995, but was edged by the Ladyjacks in a five-set marathon, 3-2 (17-25, 25-19, 39-37, 20-25, 15-8).
When NT (6-6) last won in Nacogdoches the Mean Green was raising the 1995 Southland Tournament championship trophy. On Wednesday, the Ladyjacks used a 39-37 third set win and four big blocks in the fifth frame to top NT in a heartbreaker.
"I thought we rebounded from Sunday's disappointing match really well," said North Texas head coach Ken Murczek. "We came out hungry, but inconsistency crept up on us in the end."
Senior Brittani Youman tied a career-high with 18 kills on .406 hitting, dished out by Kayla Saey who also tied a career high with 57 assists. As a team North Texas landed season highs with 73 kills and 69 assists.
The epic third set is the longest played by North Texas since the NCAA switched to a 25-point format in 2008. Overall, the match featured 48 ties and 16 lead changes, including 20 lead changes and five ties in the third.
"I've never been apart of a set like that, but I thought our girls did a great job of not letting it getting us down for the rest of the set," Murczek said.
A massive kill from Youman, a native East Texan, put NT up 11-9 and got the first set rolling for the Mean Green. Melanie Boykins' serve took over from there, and three kills from Amy Huddleston in the final five points finished the set.
North Texas hit .400 in the opening frame, committing just four total errors to SFA's nine.
The second set was the polar opposite for the Mean Green, which allowed the Lady Jacks to land 19 kills on .424 hitting. SFA's Kelsey Owens tallied seven kills to guide the Ladyjacks to the 25-19 win.
North Texas rebounded well from the lengthy third set to post a 25-20 fourth set win. Down early 8-5 early, a block from Amy Huddleston and Rachelle Wilson tied the set at nine apiece and NT never looked back.
The Mean Green never got going in the fifth set and a four-pack of blocks handed SFA a 15-8 win, and its ninth win in 10 tries against NT.
North Texas returns to action this weekend at the UTA Invitational.