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Season ends for North Texas volleyball with loss in C-USA quarterfinals

Season ends for North Texas volleyball with loss in C-USA quarterfinals

Jr. Chelsea Abii (8) spikes a powerful blow, scoring on the opponent. The UNT volleyball team won the second and third sets, but lost the match overall to Marshall University Friday night, 3- 2. Katie Jenkins.

Season ends for North Texas volleyball with loss in C-USA quarterfinals
November 19
09:04 2016

HOUSTON: North Texas volleyball fell to the University of Southern Mississippi 3-1 in the Conference USA quarterfinals hosted by Rice University in Houston. The Golden Eagles (23-7, 12-3) will move on to the semifinals to play Rice, while the Mean Green (13-17, 7-8) will return home.

This is the third time the two teams met this season, each time with Southern Miss winning 3-1.

The first point of the match went to the Mean Green after a successful block to set the pace. North Texas held a lead for the entire first set, and racked up three aces en route to a 25-19 victory.

During the second and third set, the Mean Green were unable to capitalize on their first set win. In both sets, North Texas let Southern Miss take an early 8-5 lead, which they were not able to overcome. The second set ended with a 25-20 loss and the third set ended with a 25-22 loss.

“I’m just proud of my teammates,” senior setter Amy Henard said. “We came out and gave it all we had. We weren’t perfect the entire time, but we aren’t going to be. I feel like we tried to leave it all on the court, it just didn’t go our way in some points. But in the end, I’m still really proud of my teammates and I wouldn’t trade them.”

The fourth set led both teams to believing there would be a fifth set to end the war.

The Golden Eagles were up 7-5 in the beginning but it wasn’t long until the Mean Green tied it up and stole the lead. North Texas was up 19-16 going into the crucial and final points, but Southern Miss was determined to put the Mean Green away.

Moments later, Southern Miss won the set 25-21, claiming the match victory and sending North Texas home for the winter.

Despite the loss, junior middle blockers Amanda Chamberlain and Holly Milam both received a spot on the C-USA first-team, and Emma Eakin earned a position on the All-Freshman team.

“Last year I was really upset because of my injury,” Chamberlain said. “Making first-team this year was a real surprise to me because I don’t think I really did all that well, but I guess the coaches think so. It’s a confidence booster going into next season and I know they’re going to be game planning against me and Holly, so it’s going to be a bigger incentive to work harder and kill it.”

Milam also set a new career high against Southern Miss in total attacks, at 64, beating a previous record she set against Texas A&M University at 57.

She also tied her kills record at 22.

“Pali told me that I was going to have to step into a bigger role today,” Milam said. “I was just trying to fill those shoes he was talking about. I wish I would’ve done a better job, though, in other areas.”

Although the team did not finish where they would have hoped, there are still positives they believe they can take away.

With Henard being the only senior graduating from the team, Palileo has already introduced five early signees who should bring height and athleticism to the Mean Green.

“I really wanted it this year, especially for Amy, but it just didn’t go our way this time,” Chamberlain said. “Hopefully next year we can make a run for it again, get farther and kill it more.”

Featured Image: Junior Chelsea Abii (8) spikes a powerful blow, scoring on the opponent. The UNT volleyball team won the second and third sets, but lost the match overall to Marshall University Friday night, 3- 2. Katie Jenkins

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Courtney Anderson

Courtney Anderson

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