North Texas Daily

North Texas volleyball to host first round of NIVC

North Texas volleyball to host first round of NIVC

November 28
18:59 2018

With their regular season finale 3-1 win over the Wichita State Shockers Saturday and winning 12 of their final 14 games, the Mean Green made a last-second push for the 2018 NCAA Tournament. North Texas was left out of the field but was invited to participate in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship for the second year in a row.

The Mean Green (17-16, 11-3 Conference USA) open play against Tulsa (19-11, 11-7 American Athletic Conference) 0n Thursday at the Mean Green Volleyball Center at 7 p.m. The Tulsa Golden Hurricane narrowly defeated North Texas earlier in the year by a score of 3-2. However, that game was played in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the Mean Green are 10-5 at home this year, compared to 6-7 on the road and 1-4 at neutral sites.

The winner of the match will play at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Mean Green Volleyball Center against the winner of Wichita State (13-17, 8-10 AAC) and Central Arkansas (26-6, 14-2 Southland Conference).

“We’re excited to be able to play in the tournament considering just last week were not eligible,” head coach Andrew Palileo said to meangreensports.com “Our players have stayed the course and believed in each other throughout the whole season. It will be a fun first and second round with some great teams competing.”

After starting out 4-11 in non-conference play, North Texas has posted a 9-2 record in their last 11 games, with both losses at the hands of C-USA regular season and tournament champion Rice. They finished conference play with an 11-3 record and advanced to the semifinals of the C-USA tournament.

After losing seniors Amanda Chamberlain and Holly Milam to graduation last season, the Mean Green had to fill those spots with their younger talent this year. The three featured hitters for North Texas are freshman Rhett Robinson and sophomores Valerie Valerian and Barbara Teakell.

“We are trying both physically and mentally on the court to put the ball down in the right place for our team, and I feel like that’s improved for all three of us as the season has gone on,” sophomore hitter Valerie Valerian said.

Last season, North Texas advanced to the second round of the NIVC before being eliminated by Texas Christian 3-2.

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Bronte Hermesmeyer

Bronte Hermesmeyer

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