Valerie Valerian
0
Northeastern NU 1-1
3
North Texas UNT 2-0
Set Scores
Team 1 2 3 F
Northeastern NU 17 14 21 (0)
North Texas UNT 25 25 25 (3)

Game Recap: Women's Volleyball |

Mean Green Sweep Friday's Matches

DENTON - The Mean Green volleyball team opened its season with a pair of straight-set victories over Nicholls and Northeastern on day one of the North Texas Invitational Friday.

"Any time you can come out with two wins is fun," head coach Andrew Palileo said. "Our culture was good. We played with a lot of energy. The players on the bench were boisterous and excited for their teammates. The wins came with it."

Match One
Behind an efficient offense, the Mean Green swept Nicholls in straight sets to start their season off on the right foot. North Texas hit .526 as a team, the third-highest single-game attack percentage in school history.

"The offense is always ahead at this point of the season," Palileo said. "We kept the errors down and that's something we've been working on. The players have been taking ownership in having a good IQ and understanding what type of shot to hit based on what you see."

Sophomore outside hitter Barbara Teakell led the way with 13 kills at a .619 clip, committing no errors on 21 attempts.

"We were just playing our game and not focusing on the other side of the net," Teakell said.

Valerie Valerian added 12 kills, extending her streak of matches with double-digit kills to seven matches, dating back to the 2017 regular-season finale.

"I definitely felt like I was just having fun today and enjoying the game," Valerian said. "I've been working on hitting hard and I felt like it really paid off today."

Freshman Rhett Robinson tied Miranda Youmans for the team lead with four blocks and recorded eight kills on 10 attempts to finish with a .800 attack percentage.

"It felt really good," Robinson said. "It was good to see all the hard work in camp come together."

Valerian got off to a quick start with seven kills in the first set, including five in a 14-3 run to close out the set.

"In those moments, my key things are just remaining calm and confident," Valerian said. "I also rely on my team in those moments to put up good balls so I can put them down."

In the second set, Teakell recorded three-straight kills to put North Texas ahead 12-6, and the Mean Green's blocking game accounted for four of the final five points in the frame.

Valerian and Teakell each recorded a pair of kills at the top of the third set as North Texas ran out to a 12-3 advantage. With a win on the horizon, Robinson assisted on three blocks and posted her eighth kill for the final four points to seal the match.

Match Two
It was another productive first set for Valerian, who tallied six kills in the opening set of the nightcap with just one error on nine attempts. After the schools were relatively neck-and-neck, North Texas capitalized on numerous Northeastern errors to take a 23-16 lead. Robinson posted back-to-back kills to seal the frame for the Mean Green.

"There's still a lot to learn, but at the end of the day, I just kept telling her 'let Rhett be Rhett,'" Palileo said. "Be athletic and go and get the ball."

Teakell heated up in set two with a trio of kills and pair of aces in big moments, including an 8-3 run to close out the set, and finished the match with a career-high three aces.

"I love serving," Teakell said. "It's my favorite part of the game. It's just you and the ball."

In the final set, Robinson orchestrated a 9-2 run with back-to-back aces, followed by a kill to give North Texas a 15-11 lead after trailing 7-3 at one point.

UP NEXT
The Mean Green wrap up North Texas Invitational play against Kent State at 11 a.m. Sunday.

QUICK HITTERS
  • With 18 assists in the first set of match one, Karley York reached 2,500 for her career.
  • The eight points scored by Nicholls in the final set of match one are the fewest allowed in a match in North Texas history.
  • The Mean Green started 2-0 for the first time since 2014.
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