DENTON, Tex. (11/16/03) -- Four North Texas volleyball players recorded double-figure kills to lead the Mean Green (21-13, 11-4) to a 3-1 (30-19, 28-30, 30-22, 30-21) victory over Louisiana-Lafayette (6-22, 2-13) in its regular-season finale at the Snake Pit.
The Mean Green picked up its 10th home victory of the year, its most at the Snake Pit since the 1995 team won 11, and finished with its best record ever in the Sun Belt at 11-4.
Playing their final home match, all four active seniors on the North Texas roster produced solid numbers and gave memorable performances. Corina Marginas not only smashed a match-high 20 kills, she also had 16 digs and six aces. The 6-1 oustide hitter’s six aces tie her career high and pushed her past Rachell Troell (1994-97) as the school’s record holder with 156 for her career. She entered the match needing three aces to take over the No. 1 spot.
Jill Ruskowski posted 15 kills and finished with eight digs, giving her 431 for the season and leaving her 11 shy of breaking Karen Martin’s 16-year old school record of 441 digs. Kristin Sheppard posted a match-high 56 assists and had nine digs. Stephanie Connors tallied a team-high 18 digs, setting a new personal career high.
North Texas stumbled in the second game, but had little trouble in the others as all three victories came by at least eight points. The Mean Green hit at least .231 in its wins, including .344 in the first game and .372 in the third. The Ragin’ Cajuns finished with a .133 overall attack percentage and hit .200 or better in only the second game.
NT finished with 18 more kills, 13 more digs, 13 more assists and six more aces than Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns collected 10 blocks in comparison to the Mean Green’s eight.
Louisiana-Lafayette was led by Elina Salomaki with 18 kills, while Hope Webre recorded 10 kills and a match-high 21 digs.
North Texas is locked in as the No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which begins Nov. 20 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Mean Green will catch sixth-seeded Arkansas State in the opening round on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. NT defeated ASU 3-2 earlier this season at the Snake Pit. The winner of the North Texas-Arkansas State match will face the Western Kentucky-Middle Tennessee winner in the semifinals on Friday.