North Texas Daily

Volleyball drops last game of tournament, finishes 2-1 on weekend

Volleyball drops last game of tournament, finishes 2-1 on weekend

Volleyball drops last game of tournament, finishes 2-1 on weekend
September 05
12:47 2015

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

@BradyKeane3

After getting off to a slow start this season, the Mean Green bounced back to pick up two wins at the Nike Invitational tournament in Oklahoma this weekend to improve to 3-4 on the year.

North Texas picked up a win in the opening game of the Invitational against Central Arkansas University in a five set match, as senior Carnae Dillard took over in the final set to lead the Mean Green to a 15-4 victory.

The experience on the roster for North Texas played a big part in the opening win, as captains Dillard (27 kills, 14 digs) and junior Amy Henard (43 assists, 12 digs) dominated the match.

From there, the Mean Green carried the momentum into an exciting matchup against the Oklahoma University Sooners. After the Sooners won the first set, the Mean Green fought back to force the game into a decisive fifth set before finishing off the win.

The victory over the Sooners was the first time North Texas defeated Oklahoma since 2001, and in addition to the strong play of Dillard (22 kills, 14 digs) and Henard (43 assists, 12 digs), the Mean Green had five players record more than five kills.

“Anytime you can beat a team like Oklahoma on the road in their gym and in front of their fans, that’s a great thing for our team and our program,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “I think our consistency of playing in the moment really made a difference.”

North Texas finished up the tournament against the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, losing in three sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-23). The Mean Green were again led by Dillard (17 kills, 11 digs), but freshman Karley York had a strong showing in her first start of the season. York finished with three assists and nine digs, and had a total of 14 assists and 12 digs in the tournament.

“I think [the tough competition] made us realize that we have to work harder for our upcoming matches,” Dillard said. “We can’t dwell on the loss, but we have to come out stronger.”

The Mean Green will now travel back to Denton for their home opener against UAB on Monday Sept. 7, before hosting the North Texas Invitational on Sept. 11-12.

“It’s so much fun to play in front of our crowd,” Henard said. “They’re the best, and having the band there really gives us energy and fires us up to play at home.”

Featured Image: File Photo

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