FIU Takes Sun Belt Opener From NT Volleyball
First Morton Double-Double Not Good Enough vs FIU Volleyball
DENTON, Texas – Shelley Morton’s first double-double of the season wasn’t enough for the North Texas volleyball team in a 3-1 conference opening loss to Sun Belt East power FIU on Friday night (25-15, 21-25, 25-18, 25-19).
The senior, who returned from injury last weekend, posted a team-high 13 kills and 13 digs for the Mean Green (9-7, 0-1 SBC West), which just .075 on the night. The Golden Panthers (9-3, 1-0 SBC East) got 17 kills from All-Sun Belt outside hitter Jovana Bjelica and 19 digs out of Renele Forde – both match highs.
The Mean Green defense kept NT in the match with a 62 combined digs and eight blocks, seven of which came from Melanie Boykins to tie her career high. Sarah Willey once again led the North Texas back line with 15 digs, while Morton, Eboni Godfrey (11) and Kayla Saey (11) also reached double figures.
North Texas started the second set on fire, vaulting to a 9-3 lead on a Willey ace. Boykins and Morton teamed up on the block to extend that lead to 10-6. FIU tightened the match late, but Morton sent a kill down the left sideline to put NT on top for good at 21-20.
The Mean Green forced 35 total FIU errors, but gave back 45 of their own to the Golden Panthers, including 12 on service errors.
North Texas returns to action on Sunday against fellow Sunshine state Sun Belt foe Florida Atlantic at the Mean Green Volleyball Center at 1 p.m.