BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — North Texas was on the brink of its second NCAA Tournament bid in school history but fell short in a 25-17, 25-19, 25-22 loss to No. 17 Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt Tournament final Saturday.
The third-seeded Mean Green (25-12) advanced to its first SBC tournament final but ran into a buzz saw in the top-seeded Hilltoppers (32-3). WKU lost only one set against Sun Belt opponents all season and played host to the SBC tournament.
UNT won the Sun Belt West Division title for the second time in three years under Ken Murczek and recorded 25 wins — the second most in school history, one behind the school record set in 1977. The Mean Green will have a chance to tie that mark when it faces SMU in the season finale Wednesday in Dallas.
Carnae Dillard, the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year, led the UNT with 18 kills to cap off an outstanding SBC tournament. Dillard averaged 6.45 kills per set on .257 hitting and 2.73 digs per set in the three matches and was named to the all-tournament team. Courtney Windham, who had nine kills and four blocks against the Hilltoppers, also was named to the all-tournament team. Shelby Tamura posted a match-high-tying 14 digs.