North Texas Daily

Volleyball runs over Roadrunners to extend winning streak

Volleyball runs over Roadrunners to extend winning streak

Volleyball runs over Roadrunners to extend winning streak
October 22
13:26 2021

The volleyball team beat the University of Texas at San Antonio in four sets in Denton on Thursday night to increase their winning streak to seven. 

The beginning of the game saw North Texas (14-8, 7-2 Conference USA) go down quickly, at one point being down 13-20. Head coach Andrew Palileo said the Roadrunners (6-13, 3-4 C-USA) simply came out with more energy than the Mean Green. 

“I thought we came out a little complacent,” Palileo said. “They defended well and you know, it wasn’t our passing. It was just, they out hustled us in the first part of that set.”

The Mean Green eventually made a comeback to win the set 25-22 off of a tip from senior outside hitter Rhett Robinson. However, the team was still unable to find a rhythm, committing seven errors that contributed to UTSA taking the set 25-21. Tied with the Roadrunners at one-set all, the Mean Green began to assert their dominance, leading to a 25-15 win in the frame. The fourth set was more of the same, as UNT finally found their stride and won comfortably, 25-19.

Overall, Robinson led all hitters with 28 kills on the night, with senior middle blocker Sarah Haeussler being the second-leading scorer with 12 kills. In addition, while the first two sets had hitting percentages of 26.8 percent and 13 percent, the third and fourth sets saw these percentages jump to 38.5 percent and 41.7 percent. Palileo attributes the increase of hitting percentage to senior setter and captain Kayleigh Skopal and the way that she got the team back into rhythm after the first two shaky sets.

“Kayleigh did a good job running the offense, we hit 2.82 and that’s always attributed to the setter,” Palileo said. 

Skopal says that even when the team is down in a set, she always reminds her teammates that they need to stay in the moment and not be looking too far into the future.

“It’s good to remind us that the game is not over even when though we’re down seven,” Skopal said. “Sometimes it’s easy to be like ‘ah, I just got to focus on the next set,'”

The Mean Green are facing off against UTSA again tomorrow at 2 p.m. for the second game of the series. Overall, Skopal is looking for a quicker start and a cleaner game.

“I think there are some areas that we know we can clean up our game,” Skopal said. “Coming out stronger so we don’t have to start down by seven right away is going to be one of the biggest things.”

Featured Image: The UNT women’s volleyball team celebrates a win after their game against the University of Texas at San Antonio on Oct. 21, 2021. Photo by Julianna Rangel

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Caleb Yum

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