North Texas Daily

Volleyball wins Mean Green Classic

Volleyball wins Mean Green Classic

September 13
23:11 2014

Ehsan Azad / Staff Writer

The Mean Green volleyball team  won the Mean Green Classic tournament after beating Utah Valley University in four-sets (25-18, 25-13, 25-27, 25-20) Saturday night in Denton. Their 9-1 record is also the best start in program history.

The Mean Green (9-1) came out strong in the first half, taking an early lead over Utah Valley (3-8). While the Wolverines did manage to make it close, the Mean Green pulled away in the first half, taking advantage of the Wolverines’ mental mistakes. Utah Valley only had 31 total kills through the first two sets. The defense helped fuel the offense and the Mean Green had a .510 attacking percentage in the first two sets.

“We just had a little more energy than they did and it took them two games to get started,” head coach Andrew Palileo said. “I thought defensively we made an adjustment there in the middle because they were hitting our corners, we made the change and then we started to pick that ball”

After halftime, Utah Valley took a big 4-0 lead which helped them gain some momentum to win a very close and contested third-set. In the fourth-set. However, the Mean Green would pick up their intensity, which helped them win the fourth set and the match.

“We didn’t match their energy level and we came out a little complacent,” Palileo said. “We lost that set in the beginning of the set not the end.”

The Mean Green held the Wolverines to a .211 attacking percentage for the match and put up eight blocks. Junior outside hitter Carnae Dillard led the team with 26 kills and 16 digs and senior Hanna Forst added 12 kills on the night. Sophomore setter Amy Henard had 45 assists which moved her into sole-possession of eighth place in the Mean Green all-time assist list. Dillard said that the offense played well tonight, but that there are things that the team needs to focus on going forward.

“We need to work better as a team on defense,” Dillard said.

Forst said she is feeling good about where the team is right now in the season, but said there is still a lot in store for them in the coming weeks.

“This week we have a lot of stuff to work on in practice in order to get prepared for next week,” Forst said. “I think next week will be the biggest challenge up until now and I am really excited.”

Next up, the Mean Green will travel to Kansas to take part in the Kansas Tournament from Sept. 19-20 in what will be their final set of games before conference play. The tournament starts on Sept. 19 when the Mean Green take on the University of Kansas at 11:30 a.m.

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