Volleyball Upends North Texas at Sun Belt Tournament

November 21, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MIAMI, Fla. - Number six seeded Middle Tennessee (16-15) upset number three seed North Texas (16-17) 3-2 (30-27, 26-30, 21-30, 30-26, 17-15)at the Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Championships Thursday in Golden Panther Arena.

Middle Tennessee will face number two seed New Mexico State on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Lady Aggies defeated New Orleans 3-1 earlier in the day.

Middle Tennessee fell behind 10-6 but went on a 4-1 run to climb back into game five, to pull within one 10-11, but the Lady Raiders attempt to tie it up ended when Karisse Baker's service attempt went wide. A North Texas kill attempt went wide to tie the game up 14 all and a Katie Thiesen kill put the game in Lady Raider's favor 15-14. MT won the game when North Texas was called for being in the net.

"When we were down 9-6 I just told the team to keep fighting," said head coach Lisa Kissee. "I told them to believe in themselves and we could win this game."

Sophomore KeKe Deckard picked up 20th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 13 digs. Senior Erin Hillstrom also recorded double figure kills with 11 kills as well as Jennifer Hignite and sophomore Dara McLean had five service aces.

Middle Tennessee fought off a 6-3 run by North Texas in the fourth game to win 30-26. Hillstrom had three kills and three digs in the game to help lead the Lady Raiders.

Game three saw a total domination by North Texas as the Lady Eagles won 30-21. Middle Tennessee's chilly .156 attack percentage was no match for North Texas' .353 attack percentage.

With the second game tied 25-25, North Texas went on a 5-1 run to take the game 30-26. Even though the Lady Raiders posted a .423 attack percentage and 13 kills in the game, the Lady Raiders had three costly service errors that led to the Lady Eagles win.

After three lead changes in the first game, Middle Tennessee took the lead for good, 16-15, and never looked back to take the game 30-27. Deckard helped the Lady Raiders take the lead and closed out the game with a monster kill that landed just over the net, out of the reach of the North Texas defenders. The Lady Raiders only had three hitting errors and recorded a .343 attack percentage.

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