MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (9/27/02) The North Texas volleyball team (6-11, 1-0) defeated Middle Tennessee (9-6, 0-2) 3-0 (30-25, 30-17, 31-29) Friday night, winning its Sun Belt Conference opener and snapping a two-match losing streak in the process.
North Texas posted a .193 hitting percentage and was able to hold Middle Tennessee to just a .074 percentage at the same time. The Mean Green finished the match with a higher hitting percentage, more kills, more digs and more blocks than the Blue Raiders. UNT hammered 51 kills, including a match-high 18 by Corina Marginas.
“This is a big confidence boost for our team,” said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. “We had a great team effort tonight and anytime we can pick up a win on the road it is a positive.”
Two Mean Green players, Marginas and Jill Ruskowski, finished the match with double figure kills, while the Blue Raiders didn’t have anyone finish with more than nine.
“We served the ball very well tonight,” said Headrick. “We served to the right people, which made them pass off the net and kept them out of their offense. We were able to achieve big leads in games one and two because of our serving.”
North Texas has now won its conference-opening match the last two years in a row. The Mean Green improved its winning streak against the Blue Raiders to two games and the sweep marked the fourth shutout of the season for North Texas.
“The entire team played solid defense tonight,” said Headrick. “I think we did a good job blocking and digging some of their attacks. This is a good start to conference, but we are now going to get refocused and get ready for a very good UL Lafayette team on Sunday.”
Ruskowski finished the match with 11 kills and 10 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Amanda Schrader played well defensively with a team-best 13 digs, tying her career high. Brittney Gregory had a big night at the net with five blocks. Kristin Sheppard narrowly missed a triple-double with eight kills, 33 assists and eight digs.
North Texas will host UL Lafayette Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Snake Pit.