NEW ORLEANS, La. (11/2/02) - An early one-game lead slipped away from the North Texas volleyball team (15-13, 9-2) Saturday against New Orleans (11-17, 4-7) as the Privateers claimed a 3-1 comeback victory over the Mean Green in Sun Belt Conference action.
The loss snapped North Texas’ school-record eight match winning streak that included five shut-out victories. Prior to the match against the Privateers, the Mean Green had won an impressive 23 of its last 25 games.
North Texas came out firing, nailing 19 kills in 40 attempts with only four errors for a .375 hitting percentage in a 30-16 game-one victory. However, North Texas failed to hit over .200 in the next three games and suffered 22-30, 22-30, and 23-30 losses, respectively. After hitting .029 the first game, New Orleans heated up to post at least a .368 attack percentage in two of the last three games.
"For the second match in a row, we struggled to get much going offensively," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "We came out and played very well the first game, but lost the momentum. New Orleans came out and really established themselves the next game and we couldn’t recover. We didn’t pass the ball as well tonight as we have been lately and I think that threw us off a little."
North Texas did manage 65 kills to New Orleans’ 59, but attempted 23 more attacks. North Texas was hurt by nine service errors, five reception errors and 10 blocks by the Privateers. The Mean Green’s Jill Ruskowski and Brittney Gregory both had double-figure kills and hit at least .378, but North Texas didn’t have any other players hit over .160.
"We are going to use this as a learning experience, continue working hard and focus on our next match," said Headrick.
Ruskowski and Corina Marginas tallied a team-high 18 kills each and finished with double-doubles. Ruskowski collected a match-high 17 digs, while Marginas had 10. Gregory recorded a team-high .440 attack percentage with 14 kills in 25 attempts with three errors and led the Mean Green at the net with one block solo and four block assists.
North Texas returns to Denton for a three-match home stand beginning with Denver on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m.