DENTON (10/31/03) -- The North Texas volleyball team (18-11, 8-2) got off to a rocky start with a 26-30 setback in game one against South Alabama (4-19, 1-10) on Friday, but picked up 30-16, 30-15 and 30-21 wins in the next three games to secure its seventh victory in its last eight matches.
The Mean Green swept the season series with South Alabama for the second consecutive year and the victory pushed its record in league play to 8-2. North Texas won its sixth match this year when falling behind 1-0 and picked up its ninth four-game win.
NT got double-figure kills from four different players, including Jill Ruskowski and Brittney Gregory with at least 20 kills each. Gregory tallied a match-high 21 kills, while Ruskowski finished with 20. The match marked the third straight outing Ruskowski has posted at least 20 kills.
The Mean Green hit just .115 in the first game, but rebounded to hit at least .390 in the next three games. NT lost the first game by four points, but bounced back to win the following three games by at least nine points.
With the score tied 10-10 in the second game, North Texas was able to separate itself with a 14-3 run and never looked back. Amber Clearman had four straight aces and held the opening serve for the first eight points of game three, which the Mean Green led by at least seven points the rest of the way. Leading by just one point, 10-9, in the final game, NT went on an 8-2 run that gave it a comfortable lead it wouldn’t come close to giving up.
Corina Marginas was just one kill shy of recording 20 kills for the fifth straight match, while Anne Pope smashed 11 kills. Three Mean Green players finished with a double-double, including Marginas, Kristin Sheppard and Ruskowski. Sheppard collected a match-high 59 assists and led NT defensively with 16 digs.
The Mean Green finished the match with 26 more kills, 22 more assists, 17 more digs, five more aces and five more blocks than the Jaguars, who had three players post double-figure kills. The Jaguars’ were led by Kim Courchesne with 14 kills and 12 digs, both team highs.
North Texas wraps up a four-match homestand Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against New Orleans. The Mean Green won this year’s first meeting with Privateers, 3-1 at Lakefront Arena.