DENTON (10/18/02) - Corina Marginas (Jr.; OH; Brasov, Romania) smashed a match-high 23 kills to lead the North Texas volleyball team (12-12, 6-1) to a 3-0 (30-27, 30-21, 30-19) victory over Florida International (6-15, 1-5), the defending Sun Belt Conference Champions, Friday at the Snake Pit.
North Texas picked up its fifth consecutive victory, its most since putting together seven straight in 1995. More impressive than that, the Mean Green has swept its last four opponents and won a school-record 14 straight games. North Texas has claimed eight shut-out victories this year, the most since recording nine in 1995.
"The biggest thing is that we’re not only winning, but beating teams in three games," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "That shows that we are maintaining our focus for the entire match and that is something we haven’t done in the past."
UNT’s 12 victories this season tie its total for all of last season and its six wins in Sun Belt Conference play leaves the team only one conference win shy of tying its total victories in league play for all of 2001. North Texas picked up its sixth Sun Belt victory by handing the Golden Panthers their first shut-out loss of the year by a conference opponent.
North Texas averaged 16.3 kills and 15.7 digs per game while posting a hitting percentage of .279 and holding the Golden Panthers to a .077 mark. The first game, the closest of all three with a final score of 30-27, saw the Mean Green finish with a .114 attack percentage, but it rebounded to hit at least .342 in the following two games that it won by scores of 30-21 and 30-19, respectively.
Marginas now has 11 matches with at least 20 kills, the most in the Sun Belt Conference. However, she wasn’t the only North Texas player to record double figure kills in the match. Jill Ruskowski (Jr.; OH; Richmond, Tex.) tallied 11 kills and just two errors in 20 attempts for a .450 hitting percentage.
Defensively, North Texas was led by Andrea Hansel (Sr.; DS; Houghton, Mich.) with a match-high 18 digs, which also ties her career high.
Florida International was held to just 31 kills on the night and failed to have anyone register double-figure kills. The Golden Panthers were led by Oskana Zabalueva with nine kills and Charlyn Ball-Llovera with a match-high six blocks.
"I can’t say enough about our serving," said Headrick. "We took them out of their offense tonight with our serving game."
The Mean Green wrapped up a four-match home stand Friday night and will be back on the road for the first time since Oct. 6 when they play at Arkansas State on Oct. 25.