DENTON, Texas - In a heated battle of division leaders, the North Texas volleyball team nearly pulled off the Sun Belt's upset of the season. The Mean Green took Middle Tennessee, the defending SBC champions, to the brink but couldn't hold on (18-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-9).
North Texas (17-10, 9-3 Sun Belt West) pounded the Blue Raiders (22-5, 12-1 Sun Belt East) with .444 and .414 hitting in the opening two sets to jump out to a decisive2-0 lead. But NT committed 20 service errors in the match - 11 more than any other match in 2010 - which allowed the Blue Raiders just enough of an opening.
No Sun Belt team had been able to take Middle Tennessee to five sets before North Texas, which was 12-0 this year when taking a 2-0 lead. MTSU has now won 19 of its last 20 matches and is in prime position to play in its fifth straight NCAA Tournament.
Led by a career night from Shelley Morton, North Texas hit a season-best .350 against MTSU. The junior posted a career and match high 21 kills on .486 hitting, and also tallied eight digs and four blocks.
The Mean Green was so efficient thanks to its setter Kayla Saey. The junior ranks fourth in school history in assists, and posted a career-best 66 assists, which ties for the ninth best performance in school history.
Morton was joined in double-figures by Amy Huddleston with 19 on .375 hitting, and Rachelle Wilson with 14 on .333 hitting.
North Texas returns to action on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Western Kentucky for a Halloween spectacular. The Mean Green encourages all fans to wear their Halloween costumes to the match, and will host a special kids clinic immediately following the action on the court.