St. Louis, Mo. (9/18/04) -- The North Texas volleyball team (1-10) dropped its final two matches at the Billiken Invitational on Saturday, falling 3-2 (31-29, 18-30, 21-30, 30-28, 12-15) against Valparaiso and 3-0 (30-23, 30-22, 30-12) to host-school Saint Louis.
The Mean Green looked sharp against tournament-champion Valparaiso in its first match of the day, setting new season-highs for kills (65), attacks (192), assists (62), digs (77) and blocks (14). However, the Crusaders had six players record double-figure kills and outhit the Mean Green .251 to .214 to pull out the victory.
The match marked the first five-game contest of the season for the Mean Green. North Texas came back from a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth game, but was edged by three points in the match winner despite hitting a single-game season high .500.
Four Mean Green players finished the match with double-figure kills, led by Brittney Gregory with a season-high 18. Prokof added 15 kills and was followed by Taylor Lawrence with 13 and Tara Hooser with a career-best 10. Heidi Johnson recorded a career-high 53 assists and picked up her fifth double-double of the season with 13 digs as well. Prokof and Lawrence also finished with a double-double.
The Mean Green played well at the net, blocking a season-high 14 attacks. Anne Pope led the charge with a career-tying 10 block assists, two shy of the school record, and Hooser added a career-high seven.
North Texas caught Saint Louis for the second time of the tournament in its late match and was unable to get much going offensively, hitting just .068 No North Texas player was able to reach double-figure kills, while the Billikens had three and posted a .290 attack percentage.
Gregory, the Mean Green’s lone selection to the all-tournament team, once again led North Texas with nine kills and four blocks.
Jessica Hulsebosch paced the Mean Green defensively the entire weekend. The freshman libero collected 17 digs against Saint Louis after posting 18 against Valparaiso and finished the tournament with a team-high 42 digs.
North Texas will host Louisiana-Lafayette at 7 p.m. on Friday in its first Sun Belt Conference match of the season.