DENTON, Texas (10/26/07) - A logjam in the middle of the Sun Belt Conference standings makes this weekend’s matches at Arkansas State and UALR particularly important for the Mean Green Volleyball team.
If the season was to end right now, North Texas (9-17, 5-7 SBC West) would be knotted with Arkansas State (9-15, 5-7 SBC West) and Troy (14-14, 5-7 SBC East) for the 7-9 spots in the standings. Only the top eight teams are invited to the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, so a head-to-head win over the Indians would go a long way in insuring a bid for the Mean Green.
North Texas rallied from two games down to grind out a 3-2 win over Arkansas State in September. Up against a wall in the fifth and deciding game, Brooke Engel’s serve knotted the game at 13 apiece, and Erica Wendell slammed home a pair of kills to finish off the Indians.
The comeback started with a Mean Green rally in game three. Facing a sweep by Arkansas, North Texas rode the momentum of Engel’s stellar serve to rally from a 0-4 deficit. The senior landed seven aces, and threw off the Arkansas State passing scheme all afternoon with her devastating serve.
NT takes on the Indians on Friday at 7 p.m., and faces UALR on Sunday at 1 p.m.
What To Watch For
Jessica Hulsebosch moved into second place in Sun Belt history with 2,062 career digs. The senior, who took over the North Texas career record last year, passed former ULL standout Nia Kiggundu (2,043 from 1993-96) last weekend.
The two best serving seasons in North Texas history now belong to Brooke Engel, who notched her 77th ace of the year last weekend. The senior led the nation last season with 123 total aces, and currently ranks third in the country with .84 per game.
With six regular season matches and the SBC Tournament remaining, Katy Prokof needs to average around 13 kills per match to pass former teammate Brittney Gregory for second place all-time in career kills at NT.
Three North Texas players, Amy Huddleston, Katy Prokof and Catherine Coffey, have registered 20-plus kills matches this year.