DENTON, Texas (9/27/07) With a split in its back pocket after the opening weekend of Sun Belt play, the Mean Green volleyball team is preparing for its toughest conference road swing of the season at Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders and the Hilltoppers represent the last two Sun Belt Conference championships and sit atop the Sun Belt Eastern Division standings with only four losses between them this year. Middle Tennessee, who knocked off Alabama in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament last year, climbed as high as No. 25 in the national polls last month.
While North Texas (5-11, 1-1) has never beaten the Hilltoppers in eight tries, it does own a 4-5 all-time mark against the Blue Raiders. Last year, the Mean Green knocked off the Blue Raiders in Denton, making NT one of only three SBC team to best the MTSU last year.
Hungry for another SBC Western Division title, North Texas brings an arsenal of weapons to the table against WKU and MTSU.
What To Watch For This Weekend
Brooke Engel is currently averaging 1.00 service ace per game, and if she can hold that average for the remainder of the season, would have the 15th best serving season in NCAA history.
Jessica Hulsebosch posted her sixth straight match with at least 20 digs, breaking her own school record set last year. With matches of 20, 23 and 25 digs last week, Hulsebosch is averaging 6.38 digs per game over her last six matches, the highest six-match total in school history.
One of the most versatile athletes in school history, Katy Prokof became just the third North Texas player to record 1,000 career digs against UALR on Friday. The senior already ranks second in program history in career total attacks and third in kills, and now sits in third in digs with 1,008. Teammate Jessica Hulsebosch holds the school record for digs with 1,891 and counting.
In a 2-0 hole against Arkansas State on Sunday, the Mean Green rallied for 3-2 victory over the Indians. The rally marks the first time in four years, and only the third time in the Cassie Headrick era, that North Texas has come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a match. On Sept. 26, 2003, it took a school-record 38 kills from Corina Marginas and a triple-double from Kristin Sheppard to top a feisty Louisiana-Lafayette squad that had the Mean Green down 2-0.