DENTON (10/24/03) -- Three North Texas players recorded a double-double to lead the Mean Green (17-10, 7-1) to its sixth consecutive victory with an exciting 3-2 (33-31, 21-30, 30-27, 17-30, 15-13) win over Arkansas State (18-6, 6-2) Friday night at the Snake Pit in Sun Belt Conference volleyball action.
The match, which took 2:10 to complete, ended in thrilling fashion as North Texas rallied from a 13-12 deficit in game five to pick up a 15-13 win that clinched the match for the Mean Green. North Texas jumped out to a 7-3 advantage in the final game before the Lady Indians went on a 6-0 run to take a 9-7 lead that prompted the Mean Green to call a timeout. North Texas then went on a 5-3 run to tie the game at 12-12.
North Texas hit at least .258 in its three wins, but failed to hit over .100 in either of its two losses. ASU was more consistent, hitting at least .179 in all five games and at least .262 in its two victories.
North Texas improved to 7-1 in Sun Belt Conference play to stay within striking distance of New Mexico State in the West Division. The Aggies defeated Florida International on Thursday to improve to 9-0 in league matches, but don't play the remainder of this weekend.
The outing marked NT's 17th victory this year, the most since the 1995 team won 24 matches. The Mean Green also improved to 7-2 at home this year, leaving it one victory shy of tying last year's home victory total. North Texas has four home matches remaining, including Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Corina Marginas led North Texas with 25 kills and 18 digs, both match highs, giving the senior outside hitter her 17th double-double this year. Jill Ruskowski posted a season-high 23 kills and 15 digs for her 12th double-double. As a team, the Mean Green tallied its fourth highest kill total of the season with 76. ASU outhit North Texas .231 to .206, but finished with five fewer kills.
Kristin Sheppard ran the offense efficiently, piling up a season-tying 63 assists and leading the Mean Green to a season-best 74 assists as a team. Sheppard's 63 assists leaves her 31 shy of becoming the first player in school history to record 4,000 or more assists in a career.
NT played solid defense, posting its fifth most digs this year with 78 and piling up its second most blocks at 11. The Mean Green had five players post double-figure digs and four players tally at least three blocks. Anne Pope led NT at the net with five blocks, only one shy of her season high.
ASU had four players record double-digit kills, including Giedre Tarnauskaite with a team-best 17. Phillipa Soulsby and Caitlyn Mitchell each finished with a double-double.
North Texas hosts Arkansas-Little Rock on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Snake Pit.