North Texas Daily

Recap: Mean Green Volleyball Defeats South Dakota State

Recap: Mean Green Volleyball Defeats South Dakota State

Recap: Mean Green Volleyball Defeats South Dakota State
August 28
16:25 2021

After an earlier loss to McNeese State University, Mean Green volleyball ended its opening day by defeating South Dakota State University 3-1.

Senior middle blocker Sara Haeussler emphasized the importance of relying on the senior players more. Haeussler finished the game with four blocks, four aces and eight kills.

“I think we did a lot better. We had a lot more people step up into roles and everything was cooking a lot better,” Haeussler said. “Sometimes you have to work out the kinks and put more pressure on our senior players to take some heat off.”

North Texas (1-1) and South Dakota State (1-1) started the match trading blows, with the first set 25-22 for the Mean Green, and 25-21 for the Jackrabbits. However, North Texas picked up the pace in the third and won it by a score of 25-17. The Mean Green collected 12 kills in the third, with senior outside hitter Rhett Robinson accumulating six of them. Robinson was a key contributor throughout the match, ending up with 20 total kills, although an issue with the box score initially missed some of the kills. 

“It’s an older group, so we just talked about some things we needed to do better on, especially on our passing,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “We passed way better in that second set and when you get that first touch it’s just easier to run the rest of the offense.”

This is especially evident when comparing their two games of the day. While they had 24 errors in the morning game, the Mean Green was able to cut that number to 13 against the Jackrabbits.

The fourth set picked up where the Mean Green left off, starting with five unanswered points and an 8-2 run thanks to five kills by Robinson. They eventually closed out the match by a score of 25-17, thanks to a challenge that called a kill that was previously ruled out as in.

“I’m just trying to carry that momentum into tomorrow, we’ve got to recover, thankfully we had a late game and can sustain our consistency,” Palileo said.

North Texas faces Grambling State today at home in a 1:00 p.m. matchup to close out the North Texas Invite.

Image courtesy Mean Green Volleyball

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Chris Sotelo

Chris Sotelo

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