DENTON (11/8/05) -- Junior outside hitter Tara Hooser recorded a career-high 22 kills to lead the North Texas volleyball team to a 30-21, 30-23, 29-31, 23-30, 15-7 victory over Sun Belt foe Louisiana-Lafayette Tuesday night at the Snake Pit in its final home match of the season.
The Mean Green has one regular-season match remaining before the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, but finished the year with a 7-4 record at the Snake Pit to tie its second most home wins over the last 11 seasons. The Mean Green extended its winning streak to a season-high four matches and improved to 13-17 overall and 7-5 in Sun Belt Conference action.
UL Lafayette fell to 5-18 overall and 2-8 in league action. North Texas extended its winning streak against the Ragin’ Cajuns to seven matches.
The Mean Green dominated the matches first two games and looked to be on its way to its fourth consecutive sweep, but the Ragin’ Cajuns rallied behind a more productive offense in the next two games. However, North Texas hit a match-high .500 in the final game, recording nine kills on 16 attacks with only one error, to close out the match in impressive fashion.
NT completed the outing with a season-high 76 kills on a .203 attack percentage, while ULL recorded 65 kills on a .152 attack percentage. The Mean Green collected a season-high 94 digs, which ties the 10th most in school history for a single match, and recorded eight blocks. NT had two more digs than UL Lafayette, but seven fewer blocks.
Hooser was one of three Mean Green players to record double-figure kills, joined by Katy Prokof with 20 and Catherine Coffey with 11. Prokof also posted 11 digs to register her eighth double-double of the season and Ashley Bass picked up her sixth double-double with a match-high 60 assists and career-high 16 digs. Jessica Hulsebosch led the Mean Green defensively with 24 digs and Heidi Johnson tied her career high with 19.
Louisiana-Lafayette had four players record at least 10 kills, led by Elina Salomaki with 15. Salomaki, Tara Cote, Erika Castro and Jessica Pattison all finished with a double-double for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
North Texas played just its third five-game match of the season, improving to 2-1 in those outings. The Mean Green’s 13 victories are six more than it had for all of last season and are the program’s third most wins over the last 10 seasons. Head coach Cassie Headrick picked up her 79th victory at North Texas and needs just one more win to tie Vickie Guy (1979-84) as the fastest coach in school history to reach 80 wins.
North Texas will play at Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday (1 p.m.) in its final match of the regular season.