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UNT volleyball goes 3-1 in North Texas Invitational

UNT volleyball goes 3-1 in North Texas Invitational

UNT volleyball goes 3-1 in North Texas Invitational
September 07
22:05 2013

Tim Cato / Sports Editor

The Mean Green volleyball team defended its home court on the second day of the North Texas Invitational, beating Northwestern State University in three sets and Texas State University in four.

After a disappointing loss to the University of Utah (7-0) the night before, UNT (5-3) regrouped coming into Saturday and finished the tournament winning three of the four games.

Northwestern State

“I had a really rough evening [after Utah],” senior middle blocker Courtney Windham said. “I had a bunch of reflecting I needed to do because I have never had a game that bad.”

In the defeat the night before, Windham had only three kills on 24 attacks – well below the season average of the team’s second leading scorer.

She bounced back in a major way against Northwestern State (1-5), posting 16 kills on 20 attacks in the three set sweep (25-15, 25-17, 25-23). Her attack percentage, a statistic that measures the amount of attacks that go for kills, was a career-best .750 and ranked fifth best in the history of the volleyball program.

“Every athlete has those days were you’re like, ‘Crap, I suck,’” Windham said. “You just have to keep in mind that it’s not about you, it’s about your team.”

Texas State

Down 17-13 in the first set, the Mean Green recovered to win the match in front of a raucous crowd of 600. The comeback would set the tone of the match, with each set coming down to the wire, but with UNT ultimately winning (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, and 26-24).

“We hung in there,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “That’s a good character-building win for us.”

Windham continued her great play, this time on the defensive end. She had 16 total blocks, tying a school record from 2001 with 12 assisted blocks.  Sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard took charge on offense with 18 kills and a .271 attack percentage.

“We were quicker than they were,” freshman setter Amy Henard said. “And Carnae was hammering the ball. Sometimes you just can’t stop her.”

In the fourth and final set, Texas State had a 24-23 edge before the Mean Green rattled off three straight points to take the match.

“The tournament was really good for us. Utah was supposed to beat us and we played them really competitively,” Palileo said. “Texas State was a team we felt we were pretty close to talent-level and we pulled out a pretty good match-up.”

The Mean Green will go back on the road to play Texas Christian University on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Box score versus Northwestern

Box score versus Texas State

Feature photo by Edward Balusek / Staff Photographer 

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