DENTON (9/21/02) - The North Texas volleyball team (5-10) had a three-match winning streak snapped Saturday night in a 1-3 (27-30, 30-21, 24-30, 19-30) setback against Nicholls State (5-8) at the Snake Pit.
Outside of the second game, the Mean Green failed to slow down the Colonel’s offensive attack most of the night. The Mean Green recorded three of its six blocks and held Nicholls State to a match-low .056 hitting percentage in the second game. North Texas had 16 digs in the second game, which was four more than its average for the other three games.
The Colonel’s had their way offensively in games one, three and four as they posted at least a .250 hitting percentage in each one, including a .613 percentage in the fourth game. While North Texas hit above .200 for the entire match, it was blocked eight times, had 27 attack errors and saw Nicholls State dig 56 of its 149 attacks.
"I have to give Nicholls State credit," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "They played solid defense and it is the good defensive teams that we have struggled with this season. They didn’t do anything spectacular, but they were very consistent."
Three outside hitters for the Colonel’s inflicted most of the damage on North Texas, combining for 47 of the team’s 65 kills. Two of those three players, Becca Beall and Jana James, posted a .303 hitting percentage.
"We couldn’t get a block up and that let their outside hitters get going," said Headrick. "We have to learn to take pride in our defense and gain momentum from it as well as our offense."
The Mean Green’s game-one loss broke its six game winning streak, dating back to its match against TCU on Tuesday. The game was tied 27-27 late, but Nicholls State rolled off the contest’s final three points to secure the win.
The second game, which saw North Texas post a team-best .316 hitting percentage, was all North Texas. The mean Green took a 2-1 lead early and held it for the entire match, leading by as many as 10 points (26-16) at one time.
Leading just 22-23 in the third game, Nicholls State was able to turn a tight match into a comfortable victory as it outscored the Mean Green 7-2 over the remainder of the game.
Nicholls State only committed two errors in 31 attempts and had 21 kills in the fourth game, sealing its victory.
Three North Texas players recorded double-figure kills on the night, including Corina Marginas’ (Jr.; OH; Brasov, Romania) match-high 20. Brittney Gregory (Fr.; MB; Klein, Tex.) was solid in the middle, ending the match with 14 kills and a match-best .400 hitting percentage. Jill Ruskowski (Jr.; OH; Richmond, Tex.) and Kristin Sheppard (Jr.; S; Texarkana, Tex.) both recorded a double-double. Ruskowski finished with 12 kills and 12 digs, while Sheppard piled up 52 assists and 10 digs.
North Texas’ next match will come Wednesday, Sept. 25, when it hosts SMU at 7 p.m.