HATTIESBURG, Miss. — North Texas came from behind to keep its undefeated conference record intact in a 21-25, 25-17, 18-25, 25-15, 15-8 win over Southern Mississippi on Friday.
“I thought our girls battled hard,” UNT coach Andrew Palileo said. “We fought through adversity as a team with everyone contributing at some point.”
North Texas (11-8, 3-0 Conference USA) fell behind with a lopsided third-set loss, but the Mean Green stormed back in what was a match of runs and sustained momentum by both clubs, with most sets being won by a large margin.
“Southern Miss did a great job of making us take extra swings with their defense,” Palileo said. “We are happy to get out of here with a win.”
Carnae Dillard got her shots in against the Golden Eagles (9-8, 0-2), firing a career-high 75 attacks and connecting on a team-high 23. UNT posted its second-highest kills total of the season with 67.
UNT will visit Tulsa on Sunday.
Texas A&M-Kingsville d. TWU
TWU overcame a 2-1 deficit but fell 17-25, 25-14, 25-16, 18-25, 15-13 to visiting Texas A&M-Kingsville.
TWU’s Chloe’ Tate had a match-high 15 kills while Mallory Kuechle added nine. Marcela Alves and Torie Talkington each had seven kills. Freshman Kimberly Bell posted a double-double with 35 assists and 14 digs.
The Pioneers (11-5, 3-1 Lone Star) cruised to an eight-point win in the first set but fell apart in the second and third sets.
TWU regrouped and won the fourth set by seven points to force a deciding fifth. Neither team led by more than two points in the final set. With the set tied at 13, the Javelinas scored the final two points.
The Pioneers will return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday when they host No. 7 Angelo State.
Rice 4, UNT 0
HOUSTON — Rice handed North Texas its first conference loss with a shutout at Holloway Field.
Despite outshooting the Owls 26-17, UNT (7-4-1, 1-1-1) could not find the back of the net. The Mean Green held a 14-10 edge in shots at halftime and hit the post four times, but it found itself down 1-0.
“The difference in the game was that we did not finish our chances and they did,” UNT coach John Hedlund said. “We continue to get good looks and outshoot every team we play, but unfortunately the ball either hits off the crossbar, the post or a simple missed shot. Hopefully, our luck starts to change.”
Rice (4-4-2, 2-1) scored two goals in a span of six minutes at the start of the second half to take control. Gabriela Iribarne scored her second goal of the game with a header off a cross in the 77th minute to seal the win for the Owls. All three goals in the second half were scored off crosses.
North Texas continues its road trip with a Sunday game against Colorado College.
Midwestern State 1, TWU 0
TWU suffered its first home loss, falling to Midwestern State.
The teams went back and forth for 79 minutes without finding the back of the net. The Pioneers were called for a foul inside the box in the 80th minute, and MSU leading scorer Ashley Cottrell converted on a penalty kick.
“Overall the girls played well,” TWU coach Babak Abouza said. “We are evenly matched teams looking for the first conference win. There was lot of contact in the box, and it is unfortunate we were called for a foul. Early in the second half we had some chances that we did not finish. Our defenders and midfielders played really well.”
Midwestern State outshot the Pioneers 14-10, including 7-4 in shots on goal.
Lindsey Sisco played all 90 minutes in the net and made six saves for TWU.
The Pioneers (3-6-1, 0-2-1) will return to action when they host Angelo State at 2 p.m. Sunday. The team will host a free youth soccer clinic immediately following game. The clinic will be open for boys and girls in eighth grade and below.
UNT finishes second
SOUTHLAKE — North Texas came in second at the annual North Texas Relays.
Outperforming Houston (244) and SMU (278), the Mean Green (294) fell to Arkansas (414).
The Mean Green’s 300-yard backstroke relay team of Mona Groteguth, Ash Stone and Sarah Manning finished third. Other notable showings included Jana Burkard’s leadoff split in the 1,500 freestyle relay with a season-best 5:03.86.
Today, UNT will host the Razorbacks in Denton for its first dual meet of the season. Diving will start at 9:30 a.m. at the PEB Natatorium, with swimming at 10 a.m. at the Pohl Recreation Center.