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North Texas volleyball sweeps UTEP at home

North Texas volleyball sweeps UTEP at home

UNT volleyball players celebrate after scoring a point during the UNT vs University of Texas El Paso game. Taylor Ratcliff

North Texas volleyball sweeps UTEP at home
October 15
10:54 2016

North Texas volleyball swept the University of Texas at El Paso Friday night in Denton. The Miners (4-15, 2-4) fell to the Mean Green (10-11, 4-2) after they were unable to overcome several key errors.

The coaches and women of North Texas knelt together before the national anthem to signify team unity, junior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain said, but everyone stood during the anthem, unlike previous games where select players continued to kneel.

The first set of the game showcased the challenge UTEP presented. The Miners had a slight lead throughout the middle of the set, but North Texas gained it back after tying things up at 17. Senior libero Amy Henard finished out the set 25-20 with two consecutive aces.

“We’ve been doing some consistent things throughout the last couple of weeks so we’re starting to see improvements in certain areas,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “That’s translating in us playing a little better and crisper.”

North Texas gained the lead during the middle of the second set at 19-13, putting the pressure back on the Miners . After both coaches argued with the referees over a questionable call for the second team, the Mean Green’s lead shrunk to 22-21.

But North Texas bounced back, and scored the next three points to clinch the set victory. The win gave the team momentum going into the final set of the evening.

“We weren’t just going to sit back and relax after winning the first two sets,” Eakin said. “We said we were going to finish the third one and dominate it.”

And dominate they did, gaining an early 11-1 lead over the UTEP. It was not long before the Miners succumbed to the North Texas attack, as defensive specialist LekaLeka Kiner-Falefa secured the sweep and match victory with an ace.

The game was the team’s first home contest in nearly two weeks, and the Mean Green was happy to be back in Denton.

“The fans [at home] add so much more enthusiasm and excitement to the game,” Chamberlain said. “We enjoy playing at home and also hearing the band taunt the other team. [That is] my favorite part.”

Next up: North Texas hosts Florida Atlantic University at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Featured Image: The University of North Texas volleyball players celebrate after scoring a point against the University of Texas El Paso. Taylor Ratcliff

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Courtney Anderson

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