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Mean Green volleyball pulls off comeback

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North Texas (3-4) volleyball played against California State at Fullerton  (6-2) on Sept. 13 in the Abilene Christian Tournament. North Texas starters were freshman libero Aleeyah Galderia, junior outside hitter Barbara Teakell, junior setter Kaleigh Skopal, sophomore middle back Sarah Haeussler, junior outside hitter Valerie Valerian, freshman libero Jordan Burks freshman and freshman middle blocker Alysha Johnson.

North Texas won three sets to zero with a score of 25-15, 25-17, 25-18. The Mean Green scored 12 points back to back in the second set.

“It’s great to win all three matches,” head coach Andrew Palileo said.

Skopal had 39 assists and eight digs in concert with Teakell’s 20 digs and eight kills. Galdeira also had 20 digs and two assists. Valerian had 15 kills and two blocks and Haeussler managed to register three blocks and 10 kills. North Texas volleyball just got their first win at the neutral site giving them a record of 3-4 on the season so far.

“It was a tough schedule today,” Palileo said. “I thought the girls did a good job pulling together and adjusting.”

North Texas (4-4) volleyball played against the host of the tournament, Abilene Christian (2-6) on Sept. 14. North Texas managed to win three sets to zero with a score of 25-17, 25-20, 25-22. This is the first away win of the year on the road against Abilene Christian. After seven years with the team, this was Palileo’s 400th win with North Texas.

“[Valerian] got loose a little bit today, but I think that was more fatigue,” Palileo said. “I thought she was our best player in the entire tournament.”

When it came to stats, Skopal had 48 assists and five digs. Galdeira had 19 digs and three assists and Haeussler had three blocks and six kills. Valerian had 21 kills and 17 digs giving her a double-double in the match. This is the Mean Green’s second win in a row in the Abilene Christian Tournament.

“We definitely look sharper in what we are doing,” Palileo said. “The girls knew exactly what our set pieces were.”

Mean Green (5-4) volleyball will take on Prairie View A&M (0-8) at the Abilene Christian Tournament on Sept. 14. This is the team’s third straight win this weekend. Palileo started senior defensive specialist Olivia Petnicki, over Burks for this match. North Texas won three sets to zero against the Panthers. They won nine straight sets this weekend at Abilene Christian.

“Anytime you can go into a tournament coming off of wins you always get a bit of momentum as well as confidence,” Palileo said. “That’s what we’ll be looking towards and focusing on.”

Valerian had 17 kills and 13 digs along with Teakell’s 13 kills and 14 digs. This gives Valerian and Teakell a double-double for the match. Skopal had 11 digs and 49 assists which totaled to be 136 total assists on the weekend in nine sets. Galdeira had 16 assists and three digs. For Haeussler, she accumulated 10 kills, one dig and one block. North Texas nominated Valerian and Haeussler as the tournament MVPs.

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“We’ll look to progress and continue to move forward with it adding new sets or alternative sets if we need to make adjustments,” Palileo said. “This weeks is all about adjustments and if we have to make those we will.”

UP NEXT: North Texas volleyball is coming back home next weekend to play in the North Texas Challenge against Kansas State, New Mexico and Ohio. After this, Conference USA regular-season starts with UAB and Rice.

Featured Image: Senior outside hitter Jill Duffin spikes against Tulsa on Aug. 31, 2019. Image by Isabel Anes

Article Originally Published by on North Texas Daily

Source: North Texas Daily

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