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Volleyball: UNT goes 1-1 at tourney

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Tennessee-Martin had no answer for Courtney Windham as North Texas took a 25-15, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23 victory at the Alabama State Invitational.

Windham posted 20 kills — her second 20-plus kill outing of the year — on a gaudy .500 attack percentage in helping head coach Ken Murczek pick up his 48th career victory.

With 83 matches under his belt, Murczek can be the fastest UNT coach to reach 50 wins if he gets there in the Mean Green’s next five matches.

The Mean Green (11-5) was solid defensively in the opening two sets, forcing side-outs on 67.6 percent of the serves from the Skyhawks (2-9).

Shelby Tamura logged a match-high 25 digs for UNT, and Windham sent back a match-high four blocks.

The fourth set featured 12 lead changes, which was seven more than the other three sets combined. Windham had the answer, scoring three of the match’s final five points.

Earlier in the day, North Texas took Maryland Eastern Shore to the brink but couldn’t land the last punch in a 25-21, 23-25, 18-25, 25-18, 15-13 loss to the defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion.

Windham was a force for the Mean Green with 19 kills on .500 hitting, and her final fifth-set kill brought UNT to within 14-13. That’s when Maline Vaitai of UMES (11-1) ended the match with a kill, capping a near-unstoppable .529 fifth-set attack percentage for the Hawks.

Carnae Dillard and Karissa Flack landed 13 kills apiece for UNT, and May Allen posted 27 assists at setter. Tamura led the defensive efforts with a match-high 19 digs.

The Mean Green hit .355 in the second set and .314 in the third, and posted a side-out percentage of better than 65 percent in winning both sets.

UNT continues tournament action today at 9 a.m. against Jackson State and 7 p.m. against Alabama State.