DENTON, Texas - Sarah Willey couldn't have asked for a better night to collect her 1,000th career dig. Her Mean Green volleyball team not only topped Louisiana-Lafayette in four sets (25-27, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18) in its home opener, but it also took control of the Sun Belt West Division's top spot in fine fashion.
The junior registered a team-high 14 digs in digging North Texas (10-8, 2-1 Sun Belt West) out of an early one-set hole to the Ragin' Cajuns (11-7, 2-1 Sun Belt West), who were atop the league's West Division heading into the contest. Willey became just the fourth player in NT history to top the 1,000 dig mark.
"I think our nerves got the best of us in the first set. We got a little too excited early," said North Texas head coach Ken Murczek, who was coaching in his first home match as the Mean Green skipper. "But I felt like we got into a good rhythm after that. Sarah Willey might have had her best passing night of the season, and Brittany Youman was outstanding. The crowd here tonight was incredible, and hopefully that will continue."
Willey's defense helped keep the Ragin' Cajuns at .099 hitting on the night, the seventh Mean Green opponent this year held under a .100 attack percentage. Once NT claimed control in the second frame ULL never led again in the match.
Youman was at her best on Friday. The senior posted 14 kills on .440 hitting, both match highs, while the band "Back Side Pick" laid down jazz tracks to the packed crowd of 562 at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.
Amy Huddleston and Melanie Boykins poured in 12 and 10 kills respectively, and setter Kayla Saey, who leads the SBC with 11 assists per set, dished out a match-high 42.
The Mean Green returns to action at the Mean Green Volleyball Center on Sunday against ULM at 1 p.m. Following the match, the squad will host a free youth clinic. Please visit meangreenjuniors.com for more details.