North Texas Daily

Volleyball sweeps Oklahoma with record crowd on hand

Volleyball sweeps Oklahoma with record crowd on hand

Volleyball sweeps Oklahoma with record crowd on hand
September 27
21:41 2017

Late in the first set, the University of Oklahoma led North Texas 22-20 and had seized the match’s momentum.

Then the scoreboard went out.

While the delay lasted no more than five minutes, both teams felt it. North Texas (14-2, 1-1) went on to score five straight points and steal the first set 25-22. From there, the Mean Green settled in and defeated Oklahoma (3-12, 0-2) in straight sets (25-22, 25-18, 25-16) at home Wednesday night in front of a record 719 fans.

The crowd was the biggest in North Texas volleyball history.

“Yeah it did [help],” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “It slowed us down a little bit and we talked about staying focused and moving forward with each play, and we were able to do that to pull out that set.”

The seating capacity of the Mean Green Volleyball Complex is 600. The band, and everyone who showed up later than five minutes before the match began, was restricted to standing shoulder-to-shoulder to watch the Mean Green.

Most of the time, the teams could not hear the coaches or players next to them after a rally. The energy was radiating through the gym.

“Our fans are always great and our band is always great,” Palileo said. “When it’s a sell out like this with the amount of people we had in here, that definitely drives our energy, and I’m glad we were able to play the way we did in front of them.”

The defense settled in for the Mean Green after winning the first set and suffocated most attempts by the Sooners to get easy kills or tips over the North Texas blocks. The outstretched arms of senior middle blocker Amanda Chamberlain and senior outside hitter Alexis Wright wreaked most of the havoc for the Mean Green defensively.

North Texas finished with nine blocks and only allowed Oklahoma to connect on 33 kills. The Sooners committed 26 errors attempting to create offense.

“We just locked in,” Chamberlain said. “We always talk about character and discipline, and after the first set we focused on doing our [job] on our side and everything else will fall into place.”

Chamberlain also had a solid night offensively, amassing 14 kills on 23 attempts. She was joined by senior middle blocker Holly Milam who tallied 12 kills on 17 attempts. Overall, North Texas had 41 kills and 17 errors, finishing with a .240 attack percentage.

“There was a huge crowd tonight,” Milam said. “I think we were all too hyped up that first set, and the second and third set we found our rhythm and really went after it.”

While the attendance set a record, Milam and Chamberlain also penned their names in the record books Wednesday night.

Milam became the first player in North Texas history with 900 kills, 600 digs and 250 blocks in a career while Chamberlain moved up to sixth all-time in career block assists and eighth all-time in career blocks.

“I’m just proud, I guess,” Milam said. “I know I couldn’t have gotten here without my teammates pushing me and just playing around them, they inspire me all the time and my coaches just really helped me along the way.”

The Mean Green are now 4-1 against Power Five schools, and have won 13 of 17 sets in those matches. The team knows games against bigger schools are important as they look to build confidence for Conference USA play.

“This win was another one of those Power Five schools we beat,” Chamberlain said. “So it’s a big win and it’s going to be really big in [conference play].”

Next up: North Texas takes on the University of Texas at San Antonio at 7 p.m. on Friday at home.

Featured Image: North Texas celebrates around senior Holly Milam after sweeping Oklahoma University Wednesday night. Milam became the first player in North Texas history to reach 900 kills, 600 digs and 250 blocks in a career. Rachel Walters

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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1 Comment

  1. JD
    JD September 27, 23:20

    Great job ladies! Congratulations from a proud alumni in Midland, TX!

    Reply to this comment

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