BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (11/19/09) - Top seeded Florida International looked the part on Thursday afternoon, ending the North Texas volleyball team's season with a sweep in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament (25-17, 25-13, 25-15).
The No. 8 seed Mean Green (12-21, 8-10 Sun Belt) was thrown off by the Golden Panther's (29-2, 17-0 Sun Belt) serve and offensive firepower, which topped NT with a 46-20 edge in kills.
North Texas doubled its win total from last season, and will return 11 of its 14 players for 2010, including Amy Huddleston and the top players in every statistical category.
NT got the defensive stand it was looking for in the opening frame, holding FIU to .139 hitting. Unfortunately, the Mean Green gave back eight attack errors which proved too much. North Texas hit just .011 in the match compared to .311 for FIU.
Lacy Reasons was NT's top attacker with five kills, while FIU countered with 16 kills from the two-time defending SBC Player of the Year Yarimar Rosa.
The Golden Panther serve had everything to do with FIU's success. Undefeated against 18 Sun Belt opponents this year, FIU landed five aces, but more importantly, kept NT from starting its offense properly.
Huddleston ends her junior campaign with 882 career kills, which ranks eighth in program history. She had 394 this season alone, which is ninth in NT history.
She wasn't the only player to find the school record lists. Kati Dillard got behind 123 total blocks this year, which ranks fifth in Mean Green history. Brittany Brown just missed the top-10 list for assisted blocks by two.