DENVER - Denver owns of two of the last three Sun Belt West Division volleyball titles, so it's no secret that you have to go through the Pioneers if you want to contend for the crown. That's exactly what North Texas did on Tuesday night in winning its first five-set match of the year (23-25, 25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 15-13).
North Texas (13-9, 5-2 Sun Belt West) won at Denver (9-13, 3-5 Sun Belt West) for the first time since 2004 and extended its SBC West lead to a full match over Louisiana-Lafayette, setting up a Friday night showdown with the Ragin' Cajuns in the Pelican State.
Amy Huddleston pounded DU with a season-high 23 kills, and her team held a 75-61 edge in total kills over DU. The Mean Green was 0-5 in five-set matches heading into Tuesday's match.
After a first-set loss, the Pioneers led by as many as three in the second frame before Kristin Petrasic took the serving line down 14-12. The senior led the Mean Green on a 9-0 run that put the set out of reach and evened the match at one.
The Mean Green forced seven DU attack errors in the third set to take a 2-1 edge, but allowed a late surge to send the match into a fifth and deciding set.
Tied at 10 apiece in the fifth, Lacy Reasons tallied a pair of kills and Huddleston added another to snag the victory. Reasons, a junior, easily scored her best match in a Mean Green uniform with 14 kills on .314 hitting and 16 digs - her first career double-double.
Setter Kayla Saey posted her eighth double-double of the year with 58 assists and 23 digs. Her total was topped only by Sarah Willey, the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week, who racked up a match-high 26 digs.