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Mean Green volleyball defeats Tulsa in “revenge tour”

Mean Green volleyball defeats Tulsa in “revenge tour”

Mean Green volleyball defeats Tulsa in “revenge tour”
December 04
18:42 2018

The North Texas Mean Green defeated the Tulsa Golden Hurricane by a score of 3-1 on Friday night to advance to the National Invitational Volleyball Championship Tournament Round of 16.

The Mean Green have won 10 of their last 11 matches and will be competing in the NIVC Round of 16 for the second consecutive year. North Texas played at Tulsa on Sept. 26 and lost in a five-set match, but senior Karley York said they were determined the Golden Hurricane would not prevail in Denton.

“Every team that we lost to before, we call it the revenge tour when we come back and win,” York said.

Being in foreign territory did not faze Tulsa, as the Golden Hurricane jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead. North Texas seemed as if they were a bit slow in rotation and taken by surprise against the aggressive approach Tulsa came out with. Tulsa took the first set 25-13.

“Tulsa came out pretty fired up,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “They did everything right in that first set and we were a little bit behind. We just kind of talked about focusing on one or two things in that second set. I think our kids settled down a little bit better but give Tulsa some credit. They came out ready to go in our gym and they kind of caught us off guard.”

At the beginning of the second set, the Golden Hurricane continued to dominate, starting out with a 5-1 lead and forcing Palileo to call a timeout. The Mean Green then went on a 7-2 run, and freshman Rhett Robinson gave her team an 8-7 lead with the home crowd behind them. North Texas took the momentum, ran with it and evened up the match after winning the second set 25-17.

The turning point of the match for North Texas was when they trailed Tulsa 14-17 in the third set and proceeded to go on an 8-1 run to flip the script and give the Mean Green a 22-18 lead. During the run, Robinson and senior Jordyn Williams combined for six kills, while Williams contributed two blocks of her own. North Texas would go on to win the third set 25-23 after sophomore Barbara Teakell got a kill for the Mean Green and take the final set by a score of 25-21.

Palileo said the development and improvement of his young hitters is largely due to the Mean Green having one of the best setters in the nation when it comes to York.

“The development always comes when you have a setter that always delivers the right ball at the right moments,” Palileo said. “Karley has done a good job finding them during one-on-one situations, and also just trying to go through our reads and our progressions based on who’s open and based on what she says and what the blockers are doing.”

Valerian leads all Mean Green players in kills this season and extended the lead on Thursday night with a game-high 18 kills.

Senior captain setter Karley York recorded her team-leading 18th double-double with 48 assists and 11 digs.

Featured Image: Senior Jordyn Williams spikes the ball during Mean Green Vollyball’s game against Tulsa Thursday night. Will Baldwin

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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