DENTON (11/11/06) A packed house at the Mean Green village not only got to honor the Mean Green’s seniors, but also was able to witness Cassie Headrick’s squad claim at least a share of the Sun Belt West division by knocking off Denver 3-1 (30-18, 28-30, 30-21, 30-24).
New Orleans takes on Arkansas State on Sunday in Jonesboro. With a Lady Indian win, the Mean Green would claim the division title outright; a Privateer win would force a share of the title for each team.
Tara Hooser and Brittney Gregory, the Mean Green’s only two seniors, were each were honored before the match and finished as two of four players in double-figure kills for North Texas (22-12, 13-5).
The near-capacity crowd energized the Mean Green in the first game as it raced to a quick 6-1 lead. NT led by as much as 13 in the game one as it outhit Denver (19-11, 12-6) .419 to .056. The Pioneers committed 12 errors in the frame while NT only committed one.
Denver put up its highest hitting percentage (.326) in the second frame to tie things up. The Pioneer's Holly Benson claimed 12 of her game-high 24 digs in the second game alone.
NT came out slow from the locker room as the Pioneers jumped out 8-3 before the Mean Green began to take control. A Brooke Engel ace sparked the comeback as NT took the lead at 16-15 on a kill by Catherine Coffey. The Mean Green would never trail again in the game, claiming it 30-21 on a kill by Katy Prokof.
The story in game four was eerily similar to game three as Denver took an early 8-3 lead before NT claimed the lead for good at 10-9. Coffey, Prokof and Hooser all dropped in four kills apiece in the clinching game.
Hooser and Prokof finished with a team-high 14 kills for the Mean Green, followed by Brittney Gregory with 13, and Catherine Coffey with 12.
Ashley Bass dished out a season-high 52 assists for the second time this season, both times versus Denver.
Denver was led by preseason all-conference selection Lisa Hunter, who finished with a game-high 22 kills on 50 attacks.
The Mean Green will now prepare for the Johnny Carino’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament to be held in Denton beginning Nov. 16 and running through Nov. 18.
North Texas will be either a four or a five seed for the tournament depending on the result of the New Orleans/Arkansas State match on Sunday.