Denver, CO (11/11/01) - Corina Marginas became North Texas’ all-time kill leader on Sunday as the Mean Green volleyball team (12-16, 7-8) hit Denver (12-15, 7-8) for 3-1 victory in Sun Belt Conference play.
North Texas and Denver both finished the regular season with a 7-8 conference record and tied for third place in the West Division, but the Mean Green claimed the third seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament virtue of sweeping Denver. North Texas earned a first-round bye at the tourney and will square off against Florida International in the Quarterfinals on Thursday. North Texas dropped a 3-2 decision to the Golden Panthers in the two team’s only meeting this season.
The Mean Green’s 12 wins this season was the most since it won 24 in 1995, won the Southland Conference and made its only NCAA Tournament appearance.
North Texas claimed 30-28 and 30-22 victories in games one and two, respectively. Denver won game three by a 30-24 score before the Mean Green put the match away with a 30-19 game-four victory. North Texas posted a hitting percentage of .170 to Denver’s .069.
"Our defense was very good today," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "I think that is what kept us in the match. The first game they outhit and blocked us, but our defense dug everything up. It gave us an opportunity to make some plays and we hit some pretty good shots. That is a very good thing heading into the tournament."
Outside hitter Corina Marginas led North Texas with 24 kills and 21 digs in the match. With 567 kills this season, she is now just two kills shy of the school single-season record. Just a sophomore, Marginas became only the second player in North Texas history to break 1,000 kills for a career and took over the No. 1 spot on the school’s all-time kill list with 1,021 to her credit.
"We have a premier player in the conference in Corina," said Headrick. "Hopefully it shows where this program is heading. She is setting the standard for what she wants. I look for her to put even better numbers up the next two years."
Brieanne Fowler registered a double-double with 13 kills and 21 digs. She has now had 20-plus digs in the Mean Green’s last three matches. Kristin Sheppard also finished with a double-double, putting up 46 assists and coming away with 10 digs. Jessica Shockley reached double-figure kills in the match with 11.
Marginas and Fowler are currently ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, for single-season digs at North Texas. Marginas has 357 and Fowler has 349, while the record is 441. Fowler has 419 kills this season, placing her fourth all-time on the North Texas single-season list. Sheppard finished the regular season with 1,220 assists, the third highest total in school history. With at least one match remaining this year, all those players have a chance to move up in the North Texas record books. With the cancellation of the Arkansas Tournament earlier this year, the Mean Green season was shortened by three matches.