Mean Green Hit The Road To Begin Conference Play
North Texas Face Southern Mississippi, Florida International
DENTON - The North Texas volleyball team begins Conference USA play against Southern Mississippi at 6 p.m. Friday at the Reed Green Coliseum in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Mean Green continue the weekend roadtrip at Florida International at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Since joining C-USA in 2013, North Texas is 3-4 against the Golden Eagles and 3-2 against the Panthers. The Mean Green are 1-2 against Southern Miss and 1-1 against FIU on the road in that span.
North Texas (12-1) is coming off another title-winning weekend, finishing 3-0 at the Maroon Classic in Starkville, Miss., to extend their win streak to 11 games, a program record. The Mean Green hit a speed bump in a four-set victory over Southeastern Louisiana, but downed host Mississippi State and Jackson State in straight sets.
Senior middle back Holly Milam was named the tournament MVP with a team-high 35 kills and .647 attack percentage, and passed Kim Coffey for ninth in school history in career kills (940). Milam was joined on the all-tournament team by junior setter Karley York, freshman outside hitter Valerie Valerian and freshman Henrianna Ibarra, who was named the tournament's best libero.
Nationally, North Texas ranks third in kills per set (15), fourth in assists per set (14), 12th in attack percentage (.300) and 25th in aces per set (1.68). Chamberlain boasts the second-highest attack percentage in the country at .514, and York ranks 11th in the nation in assists per set (11.61). The Mean Green are the lone C-USA school to have five players with at least 100 kills (Amanda Chamberlain - 127, Milam - 114, Valerian - 103, Alexis Wright - 101, Barbara Teakell - 100).
Match One: at Southern Miss (9-6)
The Golden Eagles got out to a 6-1 start, highlighted by a straight-set win over Alabama, but enter conference play having dropped four of their last six matches. Southern Miss has allowed 10.96 kills per set, the fewest among C-USA teams this season. The team's most versatile weapon, junior outside hitter Kylie Grandy, leads the team with 20 aces and ranks second on the squad in kills (153), assists (20) and digs (118).
Match Two: at FIU (1-5)
The Panthers' hurricane-shortened schedule has featured just one win, a straight-set defeat of Alcorn State. FIU ranks in the top half of the conference in just two categories: digs per set (2nd, 16.39) and aces per set (3rd, 1.52). Junior outside hitter Sheyanne Sullivan leads the team in both with nine aces and 89 digs.