North Texas Daily

Volleyball pulls out five-set win to avenge loss to Southern Miss

Volleyball pulls out five-set win to avenge loss to Southern Miss

Volleyball pulls out five-set win to avenge loss to Southern Miss
October 29
17:40 2017

The North Texas volleyball team has two losses this season, and one came on the road in the Conference USA opener against the University of Southern Mississippi. The match went five sets and Southern Miss outhit the Mean Green .270 to .249.

More than five weeks later, the two teams met again – this time in Denton. While the Mean Green had a vastly superior attack percentage edge this time, (.385 to .178) the match went to five sets yet again.

North Texas led 14-13 in the final set, and after a Golden Eagles block, the ball seemed to be out of reach of any North Texas player. But freshman libero Andi Elley dove to keep the point alive. After a short rally, a block from senior outside hitter Alexis Wright and senior middle blocker Holly Milam clinched a five-set win (25-17, 22-25, 25-11, 23-25, 15-13) for North Texas Sunday afternoon.

“It was just a matter of a couple points in the very end,” Palileo said. “Our matches are always pretty close no matter where our teams are. [Southern Miss] did a good job hanging in there and credit to our team too to fight back.”

The early loss to the Golden Eagles refocused North Texas coming into the conference season the team has now won 10 conference matches in a row.

The revenge aspect played a part in the Mean Green’s determination Sunday.

“We’ve been looking forward to this [match] since we lost to them,” freshman outside hitter Barbara Teakell said. “We went into this game focusing on us and what we can do and trusted the process.”

The statistics were overwhelmingly in favor of North Texas. The Mean Green won the block total 16 to 3 and had 13 errors compared to to Southern Miss’ 35. The 16 blocks is a season-high for North Texas.

The Mean Green offense did not have much trouble with the opposing blocks or serves, but Southern Miss simply found a way to stay in the match and pulled out two tough sets to push North Texas to the edge.

It made things hard for the Mean Green, who were wearing all black in honor of Halloween. But the team found a way to win the pivotal points.

“I feel like we were really scrappy,” Wright said. “Like if it wasn’t a perfect pass-set-hit, we’d still find a way to get the ball over and reset and we just trusted each other to be in the right spots.”

Five players had at least nine kills in the win, including Teakell (17) and Wright (13). The other three were senior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain (12), freshman outside hitter Valerie Valerian (11) and senior middle blocker Holly Milam (9).

Junior setter Karley York finished with 53 assists, 14 digs and tied for a team-high two aces. Elley also had eight digs for the Mean Green.

“Today was a pretty good team effort,” Palileo said. “Everyone contributed a little bit and our blocking was a lot better today.”

Next up: North Texas faces Marshall University on the road Friday.

Featured Image: Senior Amanda Chamberlain records a kill in Sunday’s win over Southern Mississippi. 

About Author

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune

Matthew Brune is the Senior Sports Writer for the North Texas Daily, covering football and men's basketball.

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