North Texas Daily

Volleyball holds its own against in-state rivals

Volleyball holds its own against in-state rivals

April 09
21:50 2013

Tim Cato / Senior Staff Writer

Since being hired officially last Wednesday, head coach Andrew Palileo has been experiencing a lot of firsts as he gets to know his UNT volleyball team. Over the weekend, he added another one: coaching the team in an actual game.

“It’s a good, scrappy team,” Palileo said. “There’s not a lot of panic. Any time you can fight through a little bit of adversity and everyone is still encouraging each other and giving each other positive criticism, that’s always a good thing for a team.”

The Mean Green (5-3) went 2-2 at the University of Texas-Arlington College Tournament hosted at UTA on Saturday. UNT played four of the eight teams participating, beating Texas Tech University and Texas Christian University in three sets while losing to the University of Oklahoma in three sets and Baylor University in two.

Palileo drove from Ohio, where he and his family have a house, to Denton last Wednesday, and conducted his first practice with the team just hours after arriving. After coaching the tournament, he said he felt more relaxed with the players.

“[I’m] way more comfortable,” he said. “Part of it was just hesitation of putting in new things and new systems in such a short amount of time. As I’ve put in more and more, they seem to be grasping it quicker, which is what good teams usually do.”

The players are making similar adjustments to Palileo’s coaching style and personality, which they said is more “mellow” than the previous coach, Ken Murczek.

“I like him,” junior middle blocker Courtney Windham said. “I had a coach like him in club [volleyball] for seven years, so I’m used to coaches who are really level-headed and not so much emotions flying everywhere. It takes me back to the old days.”

The players also benefited from the experience of Palileo’s coaching at the tournament.

“In practices, he wants to see how we do things in order to see what to fix,” sophomore outside hitter Eboni Godfrey said. “Going through a tournament and having him coach us, it’s more like, ‘you’ve seen, so now we know exactly what we need to work out.’”

The team will participate in the TCU College Tournament on Saturday, beginning with Texas Wesleyan University at 9:30 a.m.

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