North Texas Daily

North Texas volleyball hoping to improve in conference play

North Texas volleyball hoping to improve in conference play

September 22
22:52 2016

The Mean Green volleyball team begins its Conference USA schedule on Friday, and is currently in 10th place in the 13-team conference.

With the majority of the conference boasting losing records, there is still time for North Texas (6-9) to secure a spot in the tournament at the end of the season.

To have a chance to compete, however, the Mean Green will have to drastically improve their play in the final month of the season, head coach Andrew Palileo said.

Western Kentucky University tops C-USA with 12 wins, and has only lost to California Polytechnic State University and Michigan State University. North Texas does not have to worry about the Hilltoppers until November though, and the women still have other teams to focus on.

The University of Texas at San Antonio is the second team in C-USA with the highest winnings percent. After defeating  Oklahoma University and Texas Tech University, the Roadrunners are on a six-game winning streak, and appear to be a strong contender.

“I’m most looking forward to UTSA,” junior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain said. “Its at their home and we usually don’t do well over there, but I feel like we can give them a run for their money this year.”

Chamberlain currently leads the Mean Green in kills, and has one of the highest hitting percentages in C-USA. Currently, she sits in the No. 6 spot behind two Marshall University players, two Hilltoppers and one Florida Atlantic University player. Chamberlain has racked up 155 kills and 308 total attacks, and has proven to be a key offensive weapon for North Texas.

With a C-USA showdown against the University of Southern Mississippi looming, many players believe the No. 1 thing the team has to work on is hitting the ball so the opponent cannot block it. North Texas is currently in last place in C-USA with a 3.10 blocks allowed per set average.

Despite the challenges that await them, the team is ready to begin conference play, especially at home with the support of the fans and the Mean Green volleyball band.

“We’re definitely ready to play Southern Miss,” senior setter Amy Henard said. “It’s always a good competition just because we’re usually on the same level skill wise.”

With plenty of season remaining, Palileo reminds the team to focus on what they can control, like improving on fundamentals and team chemistry. Instead of scoreboard watching and looking ahead on the schedule, he wants North Texas to look at what is in front of them.

“It’s not so much of me looking forward to a team we’re going to play,” Palileo said. “I’m looking forward to watching my team execute and putting our team in a position to win and handle the little things like we should.”

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Courtney Anderson

Courtney Anderson

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