North Texas Daily

Recap: Volleyball drops match in thriller against Montana State

Recap: Volleyball drops match in thriller against Montana State

Recap: Volleyball drops match in thriller against Montana State
September 12
19:27 2021

Mean Green volleyball faced off against the Montana State University Bobcats for the first time in school history, eventually falling to them in five sets.

“I thought we played really well in the first couple of sets playing team defense, and I thought that on our offensive side, we had a lot of people step into roles, and they did really well today,” senior middle blocker Sarah Haeussler said. “Ultimately, I really think that it’s just the little things that killed us in the game.”

Haeussler and junior outside hitter Avery McCrillis led the North Texas (5-3) attack with 18 and 20 kills, respectively. On the other hand, they accounted for 63% of all of the Mean Green’s kills, which Palileo believes is a sign of lackluster team performance.

“I think we had individual performances that were good,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “Sarah [Haeussler] had a good night, Avery [McCrillis] showed up tonight, but two players showing up is not good enough, and it showed at the end.”

North Texas appeared to have control over the match early on, winning the first set in dominant fashion. The Mean Green outscored the Bobcats (3-5) 25-15 and had a hitting percentage that nearly doubled what Montana State had.

In the second set, Montana State’s offense woke up and provided 16 kills to win the set, 25-22. North Texas kept it close but could not keep up.

After winning the second set, the Bobcats ran into trouble keeping the ball in play in the third set. They had nine errors on just 11 kills, which led to their hitting percentage ending up at .056 in the third. Montana State’s struggles keeping the ball inbounds partnered with 14 kills from the Mean Green offense, leading to a 25-17 victory in the third set for North Texas.

The Mean Green struggled to get any offense going in the fourth set, generating only eight kills on 24 attacks, and eventually losing the set by a margin of 20-25.

North Texas had no answer for Montana State’s offense, in the final set, losing by a score of 10-15 and the match by a set count of 2-3. The Mean Green now has one win and one loss in the tournament as they prepare for the finale against Abilene Christian University on Saturday afternoon.

“We want to bounce back from this,” Haeussler said. “We need to focus on being more effective offensively and also being able to defend the ball a little better.”

Featured Image: Sophomore outside hitter Truli Levy celebrates after scoring a kill against Abilene Christian on Sept. 11, 2021, a game part of this year’s North Texas Challenge. Photo by Zachary Thomas

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Tyler Luker

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