DENTON (11/16/06) The North Texas volleyball team advanced Thursday night in to the second round of the Johnny Carino’s Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Tournament by sweeping New Orleans (30-23, 30-24, 31-29) for the second time this season.
The win is only the second for the Mean Green (23-12) ever in the SBC Tournament and sets up a match against the overall No. 1 seed, Middle Tennessee.
North Texas’ two seniors, Tara Hooser and Brittney Gregory, combined for 25 of the teams 45 kills. They hit only a combined five errors on 53 tries. The Mean Green is now 21-1 on the season when taking the first game of the match.
The Mean Green was energized early by another solid crowd at the NT Volleyball Center. Two aces by Brooke Engel aces helped push the lead to as much as eight points in the first game as NT never trailed. New Orleans (23-10) still managed to hit .231 in the initial frame, but was unable to match NT’s .389 mark.
The second game was much more indicative of a four-versus-five match-up as neither team led by more than three points until NT pushed the lead to 26-20 on a UNO setting error. Katy Prokof drove home a kill, and Jessica Hulsebosch dropped in an ace in the final four points to send the Mean Green into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.
UNO’s Dobrilla Kovacevic wasn’t ready to head home and spiked in five of her game-high 16 kills in the third game; however, Ashley Bass set up kills on the final three Mean Green points, including Prokof’s match-clinching kill.
Prokof finished with 12 kills and 10 digs for her 14th double-double of the season. Bass tallied 39 assists and Jessica Hulsebosch kept alive a match-high 13 digs.
NT will square off with Middle Tennessee at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Mean Green defeated the Blue Raiders, 3-2, on October 1. The winner will advance to the SBC Tournament finals.
Other results from the days action are as follows:
Game 1: Middle Tennessee 3, Florida Atlantic 0
Game 3: Florida International 3, Arkansas State 0
Game 4: Western Kentucky 3, Denver 2