MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The No. 5 seed North Texas volleyball team rolled to its 20th win of the year with a 3-0 sweep of No. 4 Arkansas State, advancing to the semifinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament for just the third time in school history (25-15, 25-21, 25-21).
Amy Huddleston led the Mean Green (20-12) attack, which overpowered the Red Wolves (17-12) with .274 hitting. The senior first-team All-Sun Belt selection hit a team high .385 on Thursday, and will lead her NT squad against No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee on Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
"We were pretty sharp tonight, and it was a lot of fun," said North Texas head coach Ken Murczek. "We put a lot of pressure on with our serve, and we played one of our best matches of the season. We are in a pretty good place right now, and hopefully we keep this going tomorrow against Middle Tennessee."
The Mean Green cruised in the first set, holding ASU to .026 hitting and only seven kills. Huddleston and Melanie Boykins had six kills apiece for the Mean Green in the first set alone, which pounded the Red Wolves with .310 hitting in the first. With the set tied at two apiece, NT ripped off an 8-1 run that knocked ASU off balance for the rest of the set.
NT came out strong in the second set as well, riding a trio of Shelley Morton kills for an early 11-6 edge. Brittani Youman ended the second frame with a vicious block, one of nine Mean Green blocks on the night.
Morton and Sarah Willey led the Mean Green defensive efforts with 18 digs apiece. Second-team All-Sun Belt setter Kayla Saey more than double the ASU setter with 46 assists.
This 2010 squad is just the fifth NT team to win 20-matches, and the first since 2006.