DENTON (10/17/03) -- Senior setter Kristin Sheppard tallied 45 assists to give her 3,906 for her career and make her North Texas’ all-time assists leader as the Mean Green volleyball team (16-10, 6-1) recorded its fifth consecutive victory with a 3-1 (30-24, 30-22, 26-30, 30-24) win over Florida International (10-9, 2-4) Friday night in a Sun Belt Conference match.
Sheppard moved past Michelle Dressel, who posted 3,889 assists from 1992-95, as the Mean Green’s all-time assists leader. North Texas is now riding a season-best five match winning streak and improved to 6-4 on the road.
Forty-one of Sheppard’s 45 assists were sets to Corina Marginas and Jill Ruskowski, who finished with 22 and 19 kills respectively. Sheppard tallied a match-high 18 digs and Ruskowski finished with 12 digs, giving both players a double-double. NT hit .207 as a team, but Ruskowski and Marginas both registered at least a .280 hitting percentage.
The Golden Panthers attempted three more attacks than the Mean Green, but had five fewer kills. FIU posted just a .130 attack percentage, failing to hit over .170 in all four games. North Texas improved to 16-1 when posting a higher hitting percentage than its opponent. All three games won by NT were by at least six points, including a 30-22 victory in game two. North Texas gave up 1.5 more blocks to Florida International, but finished with three more digs.
The Mean Green’s 16 victories this season ties its total for all of last year, which was the most wins recorded by the volleyball program since 1995.
North Texas, which entered Friday’s play one game behind New Mexico State in the West Division standings of the Sun Belt Conference, will have a full week off before hosting Arkansas State next Friday in the first of four consecutive home matches.