North Texas Daily

UNT Volleyball wins season opener in thrilling fashion at North Texas Invitational

UNT Volleyball wins season opener in thrilling fashion at North Texas Invitational

August 30
00:24 2014

Scott Sidway / Staff Writer

The Mean Green volleyball team began their season with a bang, holding off the Northwestern State University Demons in five sets (25-22, 18-25, 33-31, 20-25, 15-12).

Junior outside hitter Carnae Dillard provided a significant offensive spark for the Mean Green (1-0)with 30 kills. Head coach Andrew Palileo said he was happy with Dillard’s performance.

“Carnae made some really amazing plays,” Palileo said. “I’m really excited for our team, especially as young as we are.”

The youth of the team showed throughout the match, as North Texas recorded 59 total errors. However, freshman Holly Milam provided a spark for the young team with 11 kills and three digs.

“I feel that I did play good,” Milam said. “I was just playing for the people next to me.”

Palileo said that Milam played well and that her talent stood out.

“For her talent, we knew it was just a matter of time,” Palileo said. “This is the best we’ve seen, even in practices, tonight.”

Both teams battled back and forth throughout the match, trading the opening two sets and staying neck and neck with one another.

Drama ensued in the third set from beginning to end. The set’s opening point lasted nearly a full minute with both teams relentlessly flying to the ball. The squads traded points until the very end, when the Mean Green were finally able to prevail.

“I think we just out-worked them, really,” Dillard said. “I know we could out-hustle them.”

Tensions flared on the Northwestern State (0-1) bench in the fourth set when NWSU coaches voiced their frustration with the officials. co-head coach Stephanie Henesman was issued a warning for her outburst, but the Demons managed to keep composure and tie the match at two sets.

The fifth and deciding set opened with a four point North Texas run, but NWSU scored seven of the next ten points to tie the set at 7-7. The Mean Green scored the eight of the next 13 points to clinch the victory.

The North Texas Invitational continues at 11:00 a.m on Saturday with a slate of four matches. The Mean Green start the action by facing Mississippi Valley State, then conclude the tournament by taking on the No. 15 ranked University of Missouri Tigers.

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