North Texas Daily

Recap: Volleyball completes come back in win over Sooners

Recap: Volleyball completes come back in win over Sooners

Recap: Volleyball completes come back in win over Sooners
March 05
03:04 2021

Mean Green volleyball came back from being down 1-0 against the University of Oklahoma Sooners Thursday to win 3-1. For North Texas, the win comes after a narrow 3-2 loss to the University of Texas-El Paso Miners (5-4, Conference USA 4-2).

The Mean Green (6-7, C-USA 2-4) started out the match down 11-1 in the first set and ended up losing it 25-15. From that point on, North Texas was able to beat the Sooners (3-12, Big 12 3-9) in the next three sets by margins of two, three and four.

“I thought we came out a little tentative in that first set,” Head coach Andrew Palileo said. “Luckily we gained momentum towards the end of that set to get us to reset for that second set, and I thought we played well from that point on.”

A key figure in the Mean Green’s win today was freshman outside hitter Kenzie Smith, who tallied seven kills and one error on 12 attempts while shooting .500 percent. North Texas had 43 kills in total and shot .175 as a team.

“Oh, she’s one of our players of the game,” Palileo said. “I was just circling her numbers today. She definitely did her job and the things we were working on, it’s a good game for a young player.”

Smith’s role has grown as the season has progressed, getting more playing time the more games go along. Smith has settled in behind junior Rhett Robinson and senior Barbara Martin as the team’s third option at outside hitter.

“I started off kind of rough in the beginning of the season because I was playing very timid,” Smith said. “As I’ve settled in, the girls really made me feel like I was comfortable. It made me feel very comfortable on the court and it allowed me to grow on the court and play my role better for them.”

Robinson also had an impact on the game with a team-high 13 kills and 10 errors on 51 attempts. Robinson in addition tallied three aces, seven digs and led the team in blocks with five.

“We did some nice things, we’re going to continue to work on some of the things that we were working on today,” Palileo said. “We’re going to have to elevate our game even more against Rice.”

Up Next: North Texas (6-7, C-USA 2-4) travels to Houston to take on Rice (9-3, C-USA 8-0) this Sunday at 1 p.m.

Featured Image: Senior setter Kaliegh Skopal sets up a Mean Green teammate for a spike against Oklahoma on March 4, 2021. Image by Zachary Thomas

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James Carroll

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