North Texas came out strong Friday and defended its home court on Dig Pink night with a 29-27, 25-15, 25-22 sweep of Charlotte.
“With the Dig Pink night and everything that was going on, our players really wanted to have a great showing because it’s a great cause,” UNT associate head coach Al Givens said. “I think the key was the first set where we fought them off a few times late to win it.”
North Texas (12-9, 4-1 Conferece USA) struggled early with self-inflicted mistakes and finished the night with 14 service errors. In the first set, Charlotte stuffed the Mean Green on three set points, but UNT regained its footing to salvage the set.
Charlotte (10-10, 0-5) never truly threatened in the final two sets, resulting in the Mean Green’s eighth sweep of the season.
Sophomore Carnae Dillard, who was playing for her mother on the special night, led UNT in kills with 14.
North Texas will host Marshall at 1 p.m. Sunday.
TWU d. Eastern New Mexico
PORTALES, N.M. — A balanced effort on offense and defense led TWU to a 25-13, 25-21, 25-17 win at Eastern New Mexico.
TWU’s Josie Santos had a match-high 13 kills, Chloe’ Tate added 10 and Marcel Alves eight. Tate led the Pioneers with five block assists, while Alves, Erica Humbach and Mallory Kuechle each recorded four. Kayla Rivero posted her seventh double-double of the season with 17 assists and 14 digs.
In the first set, the Pioneers jumped out to a 7-1 lead and never looked back. TWU had six service aces and four total blocks.
In the second set, the Pioneers built a 19-15 lead with four straight points. The Zias cut it two points twice, but TWU scored the final three points to close out the set.
In the third set, the Pioneers went on a 9-1 run to take control at 17-8. TWU posted a .225 hitting percentage in the set.
TWU (13-5, 5-1 Lone Star) finished the match with 11 total team blocks and a season-high nine service aces.
“Josie and Chloe’ played a great game, and we served really well,” TWU coach Shelly Barberee said. “Some players struggled today, but overall it was a good team effort. We won back-to-back three-set wins, which will give us momentum going into [today’s] game at West Texas A&M.”
The Pioneers will visit No. 9 West Texas A&M at 2 p.m. today in Canyon. The Lady Buffs are in first place in the LSC with a 5-0 record.
UNT 4, Texas-San Antonio 2
Kelsey Hodges played the role of senior night hero, blasting home a pair of goals — including the game winner in the 79th minute — in North Texas’ win over Texas-San Antonio.
Hodges sent a laser from the top of the 18-yard box into the right side of the goal to put UNT (8-5-1, 2-2-1) on top for good at 3-2. The goal was the 27th of the senior’s storied career, moving her into sole possession of 10th place on UNT’s all-time list.
Anna Flobeck struck three minutes later to give North Texas all the insurance it would need against the feisty Roadrunners (3-10-1, 2-2-1).
“The girls really turned it up in the second half,” UNT coach John Hedlund said. “Kelsey’s two goals were huge, with Amber [Haggerty] and Anna really finishing it off.”
Hodges put UNT on the board in the 33rd minute when she sent a Karla Pineda corner kick into the back of the net with a header from the 6-yard box. UTSA returned the volley with a goal just minutes later.
Haggerty tallied a go-ahead goal early in the second half, but a UTSA penalty kick 57 seconds later tied the game again. That set the scene for the Hodges heroics 17 minutes later.
North Texas will take on Charlotte for the first time at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mean Green Soccer Stadium.