LAFAYETTE, La. — North Texas and Louisiana-Lafayette played another five-set thriller Sunday, and for the second time this season the Mean Green found the winning combination.
This time, the 23-25, 25-18, 17-25, 25-20, 15-11 victory gave UNT its 20th win of the year. It also was a crucial victory with only three matches remaining in the Sun Belt West Division race.
With the fifth and deciding set tied at 10 apiece, Carnae Dillard landed four of the match’s final five kills to help the Mean Green (20-10, 6-5 Sun Belt) secure only the sixth 20-win season in school history.
The freshman led all players with 18 kills as UNT pounded the Ragin’ Cajuns (15-13, 6-6) with .230 hitting.
Sunday’s match was the fourth straight time UNT and Louisiana-Lafayette played to five sets.
The victory moves the Mean Green into second place in the division, one match behind leader Arkansas-Little Rock. UNT and UALR will face off in Denton in the regular-season finale Nov. 11.
Dillard wasn’t the only Mean Green attacker on their game. Eboni Godfrey and Courtney Windham both notched a dozen kills, while Karissa Flack had 11 and a match-high eight blocks.
The defensive side of the ball saw a pair of 20-dig performances for the first time this season. Libero Shelby Tamura scored a match-high 21 digs, while setter May Allen posted 20 digs to go with her 54 assists — both career highs.
The Mean Green step out of conference play to take on Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. UNT returns to Sun Belt play at 1 p.m. Sunday at Louisiana-Monroe.