North Texas Daily

Mean Green volleyball wins ninth straight on senior night

Mean Green volleyball wins ninth straight on senior night

November 15
22:27 2014

Kyle Youmans / Staff Writer

The Mean Green volleyball team closed out the regular season strong with a dominating straight set win (25-21, 25-18, 25-14) over the University of Texas-El Paso for its ninth straight victory. The game was also the team’s senior night.

“Over the past couple weeks these girls have really been able to play together,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “It comes back to what we have tried to figure out all year, what are we playing for and making sure to play for their teammates around them.”

North Texas (21-9, 11-5) started with an early lead and was able to lead the entire first set despite a late run by UTEP which brought the game within three points before the Mean Green were able to close off the set.

On senior night, the graduating North Texas seniors were able to lead the way for the Mean Green in the first set. Senior outside hitter Hanna Forst accounted for 5 kills and a service ace while senior setter Camille Cherry led the game with 11 assists in the first set alone.

“It feels great to play like this right now,” Cherry said. “Tonight was a great team win and it is always good to be able to continue a streak like the one we have going right now, it really helps our confidence as we head into the tournament.”

Despite another fast start for the Mean Green in the second set, UTEP would not go away easily as the Miners went on a run before eventually dropping the second set.

While UTEP was able to spread the gameplay around, having each player that has a kill have an assist as well, most of North Texas’ scoring was concentrated around the two outside hitters as well as freshman middle blocker Holly Milam.

“The thing we are going to miss the most is the leadership that these seniors bring to the team,” Palileo said. “They are good players and they have contributed a lot and have improved a lot just since I’ve been here and we are really going to miss them after the season is done.”

The Mean Green were able to ride their previous momentum after half-time in order to finish the straight set sweep of UTEP, its seventh three set victory in the past nine matches and fifth in a row. Over their current dominating win streak, North Texas has won its last 16 sets.

With the victory, along with a Rice loss to UTSA, the Mean Green secured the third seed in the upcoming Conference USA tournament only behind Western Kentucky University and the University of Texas – San Antonio.

“Being able to get another good victory tonight definitely builds our confidence going into the tournament,” Forst said. “It is a hard thing to win games, not to mention nine straight. This streak has helped us realize we can play and compete against any team in the conference.”

The team will begin the C-USA tournament in Hattiesburg, M.S. on Nov. 21. Who the team will play in the first round is not yet known.

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