BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Carnae Dillard and North Texas punched their ticket to the Sun Belt tournament finals for the first time in school history with a 23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-18 win over No. 2 seed Troy on Friday afternoon
Dillard, the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, pounded the Trojans (21-12) with 31 kills, just shy of the SBC Tournament record of 33 set in 1993. The Mean Green (25-11) will face No. 1 seed Western Kentucky at 1 p.m. today on ESPN3. The Hilltoppers defeated No. 5 Arkansas State to advance.
With 25 wins on the season, UNT passes the 1995 NCAA tournament squad for victories and is a single win behind the 1977 squad for the school record.
Troy, led by All-Sun Belt pick Courtney Cohen, outhit the Mean Green .295 to .268 and edged out a 25-23 first-set win.
UNT wouldn’t be outdone the rest of the day, hitting at least .250 in each of the remaining sets.
Dillard was one kill shy of her career high of 26 kills through three sets. Her 31 kills are tied for the 11th most in school history.
Also in double-digit kills with 10 each were Karissa Flack and Courtney Windham, who posted a match-high seven blocks.