North Texas Daily

Volleyball sweeps Louisiana Tech, wins fourth straight

Volleyball sweeps Louisiana Tech, wins fourth straight

October 01
15:39 2017

Trailing in the first set this season is not an uncommon position for the North Texas volleyball team to be in. But neither is finding a way to battle back with a win in the opening frame.

The same was true of the Mean Green against Louisiana Tech University Sunday, as they trailed 23-19 in the opening set before rattling off six straight points to win. The rest of the match was a far easier challenge.

In the midst of a four-match, ten-day homestand, the Mean Green (16-2, 3-1) defeated Louisiana Tech University (5-12, 0-3) in straight sets (25-22, 25-11, 25-15) Sunday afternoon.

“It’s not about Xs and Os right now, it’s about not wanting to get outworked in our gym,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “That’s one of the keys, not getting outworked and La. tech did a good job of outworking us in the first set.”

After the Lady Techsters’ first set debacle, the rest of the match was a paroxysm of precise digs, kills and serves from the Mean Green.

North Texas totaled 49 kills and only 14 errors, finishing with a .385 attack percentage.

“I think our team chemistry [was working],” freshman outside hitter Valerie Valerian said. “We’ve been building it up to this point and we’re more determined than ever to go out in the conference and keep on winning.”

Valerian racked up 10 kills and senior middle blocker Holly Milam led the team with 15 kills. Both had an attack percentage over .470.

The primary valve for the offense was through serving. As a whole, the Mean Green had eight aces, four of which came from freshman libero Henrianna Ibarra.

“We’ve worked on that [a lot] in practice,” Ibarra said. “After UTSA’s [match] we focused more on serving aggressive and kill the other team with our serve.”

North Texas had 36 digs, and 29 came in the final two sets. On numerous occasions, Ibarra, Valerian and senior setter Karley York came up with big digs to keep the point alive and win the point.

York had 34 assists, two aces and five digs in the match. However, Palileo subbed her out for most of the latter half of the first set and allowed her to settle into the match from the sideline.

Once the junior captain returned late in the first set, Palileo got what he wanted and the Mean Green were able to take care of the Lady Techsters.

“I thought once Karley came back into the game, she ran the show like she had been [throughout] this season,” Palileo said. “So she just settled in and then we settled in [as a team].”

The Lady Techsters could not find an opening in the North Texas defense and had just 17 kills in the final two sets.

“I thought our defense buckled down and had some good ball control,” Palileo said. “But everything starts with our serve. When we serve tough we know where the ball is coming from and where we want it to go.”

Next up: North Texas closes out its home-stand against the University of Alabama at Birmingham at 7 p.m. Friday.

Featured Image: North Texas Junior Alex Janak (left) and senior Amanda Chamberlain (right) block a kill by a Louisiana Tech player in a game against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 1 at Mean Green Village. North Texas defeated LA Tech in three sets. Sara Carpenter

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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