North Texas Daily

Travel just part of the game for volleyball team

Travel just part of the game for volleyball team

Travel just part of the game for volleyball team
September 18
12:23 2013

Akshay Mirchandani / Staff Writer

The flight was delayed thirty minutes because of a storm, two more hours because of a problem with the plane and another hour and a half unloading luggage – four hours in total.

That’s what the Mean Green volleyball team had to go through on their way back from the Boise State Tournament in Idaho.

The team has only played five home games through 12 matches so far this season and won’t play another until Sept. 25. A trip to Loyola Marymount Invitational in Los Angeles on Aug. 30 and 31 started their season off, followed by the Boise State Tournament in Idaho on Sept. 13 and 14. They will travel to Houston on Sept. 20 and 21 to play in a tournament hosted by the University of Houston.

Palileo said that tournaments are scheduled to test and challenge the team on the road. Despite all the traveling that the team has had this early in the season, they have enjoyed it. 

“There’s less distractions on the road,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “There’s not all kinds of things going on with school and everything, and we can focus a little bit more and there’s time to do sightseeing if we get a chance to.” 

“I enjoy it because I like to travel,” sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard said. “Getting to see a fresh new city, how they live, going to eat at different places.” 

Freshman setter Amy Henard said the early season traveling helps them once the team starts playing Conference USA opponents. It will open conference play against East Carolina University on Sept. 27. 

Once conference play starts, all Mean Green athletics travel will become more localized, with away games to places closer to home like the University of Texas-El Paso or the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma. There is less travel in C-USA than in the Sun Belt Conference, where UNT was the only team located in Texas. 

“This is our first year so I think this year is going to be a little unique in that we’re still learning everybody, and all the teams are learning about each other,” Palileo said. “I don’t know if the travel is as big a factor this year as it will be in following years where it’ll be good to know where you’re going.” 

Despite enjoying all of the places the team has gone to, Henard said she always looks forward to playing at home. 

“Being a local kid I can have my family here,” Henard said. “It’s nice to be able to look up in the stands and see a familiar face instead of being farther away, so that’ll be really nice.”

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