North Texas Daily

Volleyball team seeks revenge against Western Kentucky this weekend

Volleyball team seeks revenge against Western Kentucky this weekend

Volleyball team seeks revenge against Western Kentucky this weekend
October 16
00:57 2015

Brady Keane | Staff Writer

 @BradyKeane3

 

 Early in the 2015 season, the Mean Green women’s volleyball team set their sights on two goals.

Win the Conference USA Championship, and beat Western Kentucky University.

Fittingly, the path to the C-USA Championship for North Texas currently runs through the Hilltoppers. Western Kentucky sits atop the conference with an unblemished 6-0 record in conference play and will be the only top 25 team the Mean Green have played this season.

North Texas (13-8, 5-1), currently in a tie for second place in C-USA, hosts the Hilltoppers on Sunday in what could end up as a battle for first place moving forward in the conference.

 “If we take down Western, I don’t think anyone can stop us,” senior captain and outside hitter Carnae Dillard said. “That would be huge for North Texas.”

The Mean Green has developed a heated rivalry with Western Kentucky over the years, dating back to a loss in the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Championship game. To add insult to injury, North Texas is winless against the Hilltoppers dating back to 2008.

Last season, the Hilltoppers snapped a Mean Green 10-game win streak to knock North Texas out of the C-USA Tournament in the second round. Western Kentucky jumped out to an early lead, and the Mean Green was unable to overcome 24 errors in the first two sets.

“After the loss last season, this game is all we talked about,” Dillard said. “It’s always been Western Kentucky that has taken us down, and that is a big motivation. We are all excited to play.”

Head coach Andrew Palileo said while Western Kentucky had an edge with experience in big time situations last year, the Mean Green has been focused on improving under pressure this season.

“We are going to have to play well,” Palileo said. “They don’t make a lot of mistakes, they hustle, and if we don’t at least match their intensity, hustle and steadiness then we will get beat.”

For the first time since the 2012 regular season, the Mean Green will have home court advantage in a matchup against the Hilltoppers.

“Anytime we play in front of our home crowd, that gives us a big advantage,” junior captain Amy Henard said. “People hate playing in our place. We use it to our advantage, and it definitely fires us up.”

 In what will be the team’s most important game to date this season, the Mean Green will look to use that home court advantage to build on a recent three-game winning streak.

 “It’s going to be a relief to finally come out on top of them, hopefully,” Dillard said. “It’s just a great opportunity. It’s huge having the crowd on your side, and we’re playing for first place.”

Featured Image: File Photo

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