North Texas Daily

Know your enemy: Mean Green teams claim different rivals

Know your enemy: Mean Green teams claim different rivals

Linebacker Blake Bean attempts to tackle wide receiver Xavier Castille.

Know your enemy: Mean Green teams claim different rivals
September 16
18:35 2015

Clay Massey | Staff Writer


Over the past three weeks, posters highlighting the Mean Green football team’s battle against Southern Methodist University have been spread across campus. The game was being pushed as a rivalry match.

When members of the student body were asked who they see they see as North Texas’ biggest rival, SMU was the overwhelming answer. That is why there was so much green tailgating at Saturday’s game against the ponies.

Even football head coach Dan McCarney wanted to beat SMU badly and has commented on the rivalry in the past.

But that is not the case across all North Texas sports. Volleyball senior Carnae Dillard of the Mean Green volleyball team gave no hesitation when asked on who she wants to beat most this season.

“Western Kentucky,” said Dillard. “Our freshman year we were in the championship of the Sun Belt and we lost to them. I definitely want to beat Western Kentucky.”

Sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard spikes the ball during a home game against Marshall on Sunday. Photo by Margaret Saucedo / Intern

Carnae Dillard File Photo | North Texas Daily

Dillard formed a grudge against the Hilltoppers after the Mean Green was knocked out of the Conference USA tournament in the semi-finals by Western Kentucky last season.

“I think there’s a rivalry between me and Western Kentucky,” said Dillard. “We know we can beat everyone else, but we’ve just never been to that point where we can beat Western.”

Junior setter Amy Henard echoed Dillard’s thoughts.

“They’ve always had an up on us throughout the years, and I’m just ready to break that,” Henard said of WKU.”I think this is the team to do it. We’re not scared of them, we just want to beat them.”

Members of the 7-1-0 Mean Green soccer team have a different answer as well. Senior captains Lindsey Hulstein and Molly Grisham have a score to settle with Rice University.

The Owls have played North Texas three times since 2013, posting a 2-0-1 unbeaten record. North Texas’ best result against Rice came last season when the Mean Green drew 1-1 with Rice in double overtime.

“It’s a big conference rivalry,” Hulstein said. “Last year they beat us in the conference championship. We haven’t beat them in the last three years, which is rare for us. If we play somebody three times we’re going to beat them at least once, if not three times. We’re really looking forward to having them at home on senior night.”

Grisham agreed with Hulstein’s comments but is also looking forward to playing a nationally sixth ranked SEC opponent on the 2015 schedule.

“The team we want to beat most is Rice, I’ll second that,” said Hulstein. “A team we’re looking forward to playing is Texas A&M. That’s going to be a really big game playing an SEC team.”

Senior Lindsey Hulstein steals the ball for the Mean Green.

Lindsey Hulstein File Photo | North Texas Daily

Texas A&M returns 11 players that made a run to the semi-finals of the NCAA tournament last season. The Aggies are also off to a hot start like the Mean Green, sitting at 5-1-0 on the season.

Senior midfielder Karla Pineda is looking forward to playing A&M for an upset chance and for something extra as well.

“I want to beat A&M definitely,” said Pineda. “Since I was in high school I always knew they were good but we never got the chance to play them, and now in my senior year we get to play them. I have a friend that goes to A&M so being able to talk smack to her would be nice. I want bragging rights.”

Featured Image: Linebacker Blake Bean attempts to tackle wide receiver Xavier Castille. Ryan Vance | Senior Staff Photographer

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