Denton (10/28/01) - Although sophomore outside hitter Corina Marginas smashed a school-record 38 kills against South Alabama (5-11, 3-8) on Sunday, the North Texas volleyball team (10-13, 5-6) suffered a 3-2 loss to the Jaguars.
The Mean Green opened the match with a 30-27 game-one victory, but dropped games two and three by scores of 30-32 and 28-30, respectively. However, North Texas refused to go away and evened the match with a 30-26 win in game four. The Mean Green held a 10-8 lead in the final game, but gave up four consecutive points to give USA a 12-10 advantage. The score would go to 13-13 before the Jaguars were able to put the match away with back-to-back scores.
"We didn’t play very well defensively and were hurt by bad timing today," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "Every team has its peaks and valleys, so maybe this is the calm before the storm. On a positive, we have some players that are coming out and playing very well. Corina (Marginas) was virtually unstoppable today."
North Texas registered 86 kills to USA’s 68, but posted a lower hitting percentage than the Jaguars at .202 to .216. The 86 kills were the fourth most in North Texas history and the Mean Green tied the school record for assists with 81. South Alabama blocked North Texas very well, coming away with 20 blocks for the entire match.
The loss gave North Texas a split in two Sun Belt Conference matches this weekend and leaves the Mean Green in no worse than third place in the conference standings with a 5-6 record against league foes.
Marginas’ (Brasov, Romania) 38 kills are the most by an individual player in the Sun Belt Conference this season and ties the third most in the league’s history. Marginas, who had 32 kills in the Mean Green’s win over New Orleans on Friday, broke her own school record of 37 kills (vs. Denver in Sept. 2000) and now has three 30-plus kill matches this season. She now holds four of the top-10 spots at North Texas for kills in a match.
Marginas was one of four North Texas players to record double-figure kills and digs in the match. Brieanne Fowler (So.; OH; Odessa, Tex.) followed Marginas with 13 kills, while Anne Pope (Fr.; MB; Aurora Colorado) totaled 12 and Tanya Samples (Jr.; MB; Nocona, Tex.) finished with 10. Marginas posted her 14th double-double of the year and Kristin Sheppard (So.; S; Texarkana, Tex.) also had a double-double with 73 assists and 10 digs. Sheppard’s 73 assists are a career-high and just one shy of the school record.
Fowler led North Texas defensively with a career-high 21 digs.
North Texas will close out the home portion of its 2001 schedule next weekend, hosting Sun Belt Conference foe’s Middle Tennessee on Nov. 2 (7 p.m.) and UL Lafayette on Nov. 4 (2 p.m.).