MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — After staving off six match points over two sets Friday, North Texas fell to Marshall 25-23, 15-25, 25-20, 29-31, 15-12 and was eliminated from the Conference USA tournament in the quarterfinals.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the way our girls played in that match, and they showed incredible determination and fortitude late when they fought off all those match points,” UNT coach Andrew Palileo said. “We had to play [Thursday] and they didn’t. Sometimes that extra rest can be the difference between winning by three points and losing by three points.”
With the match tied after two sets, Marshall took control during the third as it ripped off point after point.
The Thundering Herd carried its momentum into the fourth set until UNT, when faced with four match points late in the frame, battled back to keep its season alive and win the set 31-29.
In the final set, Marshall again put itself in position to win the match. The Mean Green dug down and fought off two more match points before eventually falling 15-12.
“Credit Marshall — they will be a tough out in this tournament for anyone,” Palileo said.
UNT senior captain Courtney Windham tallied 13 kills and 15 blocks, one short of her career high. First-team all-conference selection Carnae Dillard notched her 26th double-double of the season with a team-high 20 kills and 10 digs.
Senior captain and starting libero Shelby Tamura dug up a team-high 18 balls for UNT. Senior middle blocker and second-team All-C-USA pick Karissa Flack posted her 10th double-digit kill performance of the season with 11.
The loss eliminated the fifth-seeded Mean Green (17-15) from its first C-USA volleyball tournament following a first-round victory over Florida Atlantic.