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Mean Green volleyball split second-day of North Texas Invitational

Mean Green volleyball split second-day of North Texas Invitational

August 31
14:01 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

It was an up and down day for the Mean Green volleyball team as they went 1-1 during the second day of the North Texas Invitational tournament on Saturday.

Mississippi Valley:

The Mean Green were coming off their first win of the season going into Saturday and continued the,streak by beating Mississippi Valley State University in a sweep Saturday morning (25-11, 25-16, 25-10). The Mean Green (2-1), wanting to rest their starters, played their freshmen against the Delta Devils (0-2).

Freshman outside hitter Chelsea Abii led the Mean Green offense with 13 kills on the night. The Mean Green as a team held the Delta Devils to a .102 attacking percentage and also had four total team blocks.

“I thought they did well for the first one of the year and they did better and reacted better than I thought,” head coach Andrew Palileo said.

Palileo said this game was to help the younger players gain some experience and to build their confidence up.

“They played with confidence and anytime you can play with confidence and not make mistakes, it’s always a good thing for them.”

There were nerves for some of the younger players in getting their first taste of action, but the experience ended up benefiting them.

“The returners gave us a lot of confidence, so once they did that we got on runs and just played our game,” freshman right-side hitter Alexis Wright said.

No.15 Missouri:

After clinching their second win of the season, the Mean Green fell to No. 15 University of Missouri Saturday night in five-sets (25-17, 17-25, 29-31, 25-18, 12-15).

The Mean Green battled back-and-forth the entire night, but Missouri (2-1) would always find a way to get back into the game. In the final set, defensive miscues kept the Mean Green from making the upset.

“We got tentative, we stopped being aggressive with our serves, made the serves easier, they were able to stay in their system for longer and they executed a little bit better than we did,” Palileo said.

Palileo said the defense was shaky and it needed to get better as they go forward with the season.

One thing that went right was on the offensive side, as the team put up an attacking percentage of .266. Junior outside hitter Carnae Dillard led the attack with 29 kills and 12 digs. Dillard was happy she played well, but knew her teammates were what made her play well.

“It felt good to know that I could hang with the big guys, but I wouldn’t be able to do anything if it wasn’t for our back-row and our setter” Dillard said. “They just do an awesome job of putting the ball where I can hit it.”

The freshman players also had a big-impact in this game as well, with Wright putting up 19 kills and Abii getting seven.

Palileo liked a lot of what he saw tonight and told the teams there were positives to take from hanging in with a top-ranked team, but there was one thing that he wanted to see his team do in the future.

“We had the opportunity and you just can’t be tentative, you just have to be even more aggressive,” Palileo said.

The Mean Green go on the road to face Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.

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