DENTON (10/3/03) -- After winning its first two Sun Belt Conference matches this season, the North Texas volleyball team (11-10) suffered its first loss in league play with a 3-0 (28-30, 24-30, 21-30) setback against New Mexico State (13-4, 3-0) on Friday night at the Snake Pit.
Led by Sarah Silagy with a match-high 16 kills and a .520 hitting percentage, the Aggies recorded 54 kills and hit .336 to power their way past the Mean Green. Silagy was one of three NMSU players to record double-figure kills, while Corina Marginas was the only North Texas players with a double-digit kill total. Marginas recorded 15 kills, while Anne Pope, Jill Ruskowski and Brittney Gregory each added eight. NT managed just a .165 hitting percentage and 43 digs.
The first game was the closest of the three, ending in a two-point victory for the Aggies. The Mean Green actually led 27-26 late and had the score tied 28-28, but NMSU recorded the final two points with a kill by Abby Stines and a game-winning service ace by Shari Hearne. North Texas posted a .277 hitting percentage in the game, its best of the match.
The Mean Green kept the second game close for a while and trailed just 23-26, but NMSU went on a 4-1 run at that point to secure the victory. The Aggies controlled the final game from the start, posting its best single-game hitting percentage of the night at .421. They opened up a 21-11 advantage that North Texas failed to challenge the remainder of the way.
Ruskowski led North Texas defensively with 11 digs. Kristin Sheppard finished the match with a team-high 35 assists.
The Aggies improved to 3-0 in Sun Belt action and picked up their seventh consecutive victory. North Texas dropped its second straight match and was handed just its second home loss of the year.
North Texas remains at home for a 1 p.m. Sun Belt Conference match against Denver on Sunday.