North Texas Daily

UNT volleyball and soccer teams make their mark in record books

UNT volleyball and soccer teams make their mark in record books

UNT volleyball and soccer teams make their mark in record books
November 19
16:08 2013

Akshay Mirchandani and Ehsan Azad / Staff Writers

The ultimate goal of any athlete is to do better than anyone else in history. The breaking and re-breaking of statistical records constantly happens in sports, particularly for the Mean Green soccer and volleyball teams this season.

Soccer

The Mean Green soccer team fell in the Conference USA Tournament Finals to Colorado College, with a successful overall season. The Mean Green was first in the conference in four major offensive categories: shots with 375, points with 144, goals with 55 and goals per game with 2.36.

It was a continuation of the team’s success last season, where it was first in shots, and second in points and goals in the Sun Belt Conference.

“It builds your confidence knowing that we’re at that high of a level competing with everyone in the conference and at the top of the record books,” senior defender Kelsey Hodges said. “It’s cool and it helps motivate us going into each game.”

Individually, freshman forward Rachel Holden led C-USA with three game-winning goals and was second in goals. She also had 51 shots, which ranks fourth in Mean Green history for shots taken during the season.

Holden received most of her information on her accomplishments this season from head coach John Hedlund.

“I keep track of it a little,” Holden said. “I know John tells us more stuff than we know. I know some stats here and there.”

Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Haley Riley recorded a shutout streak that lasted 422 combined minutes. It was the second-longest shutout streak in Mean Green history and her seven shutouts rank eighth in all-time Mean Green history. She trails Mandy Hall’s 22 shutouts in 2007-2010, an all-time record.

“It definitely had a lot to do with my defense,” Riley said. “It was just really a fun thing to be a part of a strong defense against Big 12 teams and it was just an exciting momentum that we had going for us.”

Senior defender Kelsey Hodges also reached a bevy of records in her four-year career at UNT. She finished second in minutes played, eighth in goals with 32 and first for penalty kicks in a single season with five.

Volleyball

Four Mean Green volleyball players have their names all over the UNT record books: freshman setter Amy Henard, sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard, senior libero Shelby Tamura and senior outside hitter Courtney Windham.

“As a group, I knew I was stepping into a program that had some really good pieces in place,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “It was a matter of how we would go about continuing to make progress and it shows you the amount of work they have done.”

Henard, who immediately started for the team as a freshman, already has moved into the top 10 for assists at UNT. Currently, she is ranked 10th all-time with 1,091 assists.

“It’s an awesome accomplishment, but it’s not where I want to stop,” Henard said.

If she duplicates her success for three more seasons, she is on pace to pass Kristin Sheppard, who set the all-time UNT record with 4,394 assists in 2001-2003.

Many of Henard’s assists were turned into kills by Dillard, who currently has 983 kills in her career. She is sixth on the all-time list, trailing Corina Marginas at the top spot with 2,211 kills.

“I came into North Texas to set goals for myself, and it’s cool to see your work pay off,” Dillard said. “It’s just motivation for myself now to work my hardest.”

Dillard finished third in kills per set in Conference USA and 27th in the nation.

The two seniors are also making a final run. Tamura’s 1,030 digs places her fifth all-time, and Windham has her name on the list for blocks and kills. Her 309 total blocks puts her at seventh all-time and her 854 kills puts her tenth.

Tamura played only two seasons with the Mean Green after transferring from New Mexico State University, while Windham played three after transferring from Baylor University.

“It’s an honor. That’s a dream for me to come back in a couple of years and be announced in the [Mean Green] Hall of Fame,” Windham said. “If I can make that happen by just playing and having fun with the sport I love, that would be great.”

Feature photo: Senior middle blocker Karissa Flack spikes the ball during a home game against Marshall on Oct. 13. Photo by Margaret Saucedo / Intern Photographer 

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