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Lone senior on North Texas volleyball team finishing out final season

Lone senior on North Texas volleyball team finishing out final season

November 15
11:45 2016

Friday marks the beginning of the end for Amy Henard.

The lone senior on the Mean Green volleyball team will begin the final conference tournament of her collegiate career when North Texas travels to Houston to try and earn an NCAA tournament berth.

Henard joined the team four years ago after being recruited by North Texas’ former head coach Ken Murczek, but has adapted to current head coach Andrew Palileo. This season, she has had to take on a leadership role that was previously held by Carnae Dillard, who holds nearly every volleyball record in Mean Green history. 

During her tenure in Denton, Henard has changed her game to not only fit a new coach, but to help her teammates as well.

“I think [my voice] goes in and out with the temperament of the team,” Henard said. “I’m not really mean very often but when I do have that voice and get stern is when people tend to notice and listen more because I don’t get that way. I pick my select few times to get that way.”

Part of Henard’s legacy is her mentoring of young players. Her teammates say she is a fun presence year-in and year-out and they appreciate her approach to leadership.

Junior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain is one of many that will miss not only what she brings to the court, but her personality off it.

“I love Amy,” Chamberlain said. “She’s just goofy and corny. She doesn’t care who’s around, she’ll just be herself and she’s one of those people that you can’t not like.”

As the setter, it’s only fitting Henard has set a few records during her farewell tour.

During North Texas’ match versus Western Kentucky University this past Thursday, Henard moved into the top-3 in Mean Green history with 3,755 assists. She is also the only North Texas player in to record at least 3,500 assists to go along with 1,000 digs.

As a freshman, Henard was named to the All-Freshman team, as well as the All-Academic team her sophomore and junior year. She has also earned Setter of the Week during those three seasons and has grasped the C-USA Spirit of Service award, which is designed to recognize student-athletes for their community involvement, grades and sport involvement.

“It means a lot,” Henard said of her accolades. “It just shows the hard work I put in over four years and being able to play all four of those years is just really cool. It’s all just a testament of the work I’ve put in.”

Henard’s coaches have also recognized the work she has done. Her freshman year she started every match and she has not slowed down since. Henard has shown her adaptability and skill set by switching between setter and libero throughout this season after experimenting with the position slightly last year.

“She’s done a lot for this program,” Palileo said. “She’s open to whatever we need her to play. The great thing about her is she’s versatile enough to play whatever we need her to do for that match.”

Graduating in 2017 with a double-major in chemistry and biology, the 3.8 GPA holder hopes to continue her education in order to become a physician’s assistant. But before that, Henard and the rest of the Mean Green will take on The University of Southern Mississippi on Friday in hopes of continuing their season for at least one more day.

“I’m most looking forward to this tournament and seeing how we can finish out,” Henard said. “I’m going to remember the fun times laughing with everyone because of how funny the team is. That’s what I’m going to miss most.”

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Courtney Anderson

Courtney Anderson

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