DENTON, Texas (11/1/09) - For a second time this week the North Texas volleyball team had a Sun Belt power on the ropes in the fifth set. But just like Denver on Monday night, Arkansas State found a way to escape the Mean Green Volleyball Center with a 3-2 win (27-25, 18-25, 25-19, 20-25, 16-14).
Amy Huddleston was spectacular with 23 kills on a team-high .280 hitting, but North Texas (10-17, 6-7 Sun Belt) couldn't hold off the charging Red Wolves (19-10, 9-6 Sun Belt) in the deciding moments.
The Mean Green led 8-5 in the fifth before spotting the Red Wolves a trio of attack errors in a 4-1 ASU run. The two squads battled point for point until kills from Brittany Hoag and Charlyn Ursell sealed the match for Arkansas State. North Texas now has a 4-6 record in five-set matches this year.
Kati Dillard and North Texas continue to be spectacular at the net. NT sent back 14 team blocks, while the sophomore got behind a match-high seven of her own. Dillard's three solo blocks tie a career-high, and she now has 87 assisted blocks this year, which ties for eighth in school history.
Huddleston's 23 kills brings her weekly total to 52, good for an average of 3.71 per set. The junior has tallied 818 career kills which already has her at 10th in school history.
Aside from Huddleston's offense, stellar team defense kept the Mean Green churning on Sunday. Jessica Green led five NT players with at least five digs. The senior tallied 17 digs, while Huddleston had 13 and Sarah Willey got under 10.
The Mean Green continues its school record home stand next weekend with the Louisiana trio. NT will take on ULM on Friday, New Orleans on Saturday and Louisiana-Lafayette on Monday.