DENTON (11/15/02) - The North Texas volleyball team (15-16, 9-4) dropped a 3-2 (30-22, 27-30, 30-22, 25-30, 13-15) decision to the Western Kentucky Lady Toppers (30-4, 14-0) Friday night in its final home match of the season.
North Texas came out of the intermission break to claim a third-game victory and go up two games to one, but the Lady Toppers came back to win the fourth game and send the match into a fifth and deciding game. The fifth game was a back-and-forth battle that eventually went WKU’s way, scoring the final two points to claim the victory and go undefeated in Sun Belt Conference play.
"We had some mental errors that hurt us tonight," said North Texas head coach Cassie Headrick. "We had some breakdowns where we were caught out of position and they capitalized on. When you play point-to-point like we did in this match, two or three points are huge and hard to make up for. I think a few mental mistakes were the difference tonight."
The match was very tight in all statistical aspects, WKU just barely holding the advantage in hitting percentage with a .236 mark in comparison to the Mean Green’s .234. The Mean Green had four players record double-figure kills, including a career-high 21 by freshman Brittney Gregory. She also had seven blocks, four digs and hit .500 to lead the North Texas attack. Brieanne Fowler, Kristin Sheppard and Jill Ruskowski all registered a double-double to pace the Mean Green to 73 kills, 68 assists and 73 digs.
"I think this proves in our minds that we are contenders," said Headrick. "If we continue to put things together and can build off some momentum, we’ll be fine."
North Texas will close out its regular season Sunday with a 2 p.m. match at Louisiana-Lafayette. The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will begin Nov. 21.