DENTON, Texas (10/7/08) - The North Texas volleyball team takes a break from its Sun Belt slate to close out non-conference play with Metroplex rival Southern Methodist tonight at the Mean Green Volleyball Center at 7 p.m.
Head coach Cassie Headrick will look to right the ship against the Ponies. No other coach in North Texas history has a better career kills-to-error ratio than Headrick, but this year’s squad isn’t doing that average any favors. The 2008 Mean Green is averaging 1.74 kills for every attack error, the lowest by a North Texas team since 1999 the year before Headrick’s arrival. For her career Headrick’s squads are averaging 2.10 kills for each error, tops among all coaches in school history.
North Texas (3-13, 1-3 Sun Belt) will try to reverse a run of bad luck against the Mustangs (9-9, 2-3 Conference USA) in recent years. The program’s only win against the Ponies came in 1996, and SMU has taken the last nine matches. North Texas hits the road this weekend for a return to SBC play at Florida Atlantic and Florida International.
Just halfway through the 2008 season, the Mustangs and the Mean Green have seven common opponents this season (UT Arlington, New Orleans, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa, Denver, Central Florida and Southern Mississippi). SMU has a 3-4 mark against those teams, while NT is 0-7.
Marelle Lepmets, a junior, started at setter against ULM and Louisiana-Lafayette, and tallied 8.67 assists per set. The freshman, Kayla Saey earned the start against New Orleans and spelled Lepmets in two sets against the Ragin’ Cajuns and averaged 7.0 assists per set in her time.
Kati Dillard has been big on the block for North Texas this year, but her seven match streak of multiple block matches came to an end against New Orleans. Over that seven match span the freshman tallied 28 blocks for an average of 1.17 per set. She continues to lead the Mean Green with 40 blocks on the season.
Sarah Willey and Breanne Owens’ streak of double-digit digs ended at six matches last week, and will go down as the longest in the Cassie Headrick era which began in 2000. The freshmen rank first and second on the team in digs, with Willey averaging 3.0 per set and Owens at 2.46.