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Mean Green Volleyball Captures Cardinal Classic


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BEAUMONT (8/30/03) – The North Texas volleyball team (3-0) wrapped up play at the Cardinal Classic on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over UT-Pan American in its early match and a 3-2 win over Lamar in the tournament’s championship game.

North Texas swept its competition at the two-day tournament, also defeating Lehigh 3-0 on Friday to open its 2003 campaign. The Mean Green’s 3-0 record is the program’s best start through three matches since 1978.

North Texas’ Brittney Gregory (Klein, Tex.) was named the tournament’s MVP and was joined by teammates Kristin Sheppard (Texarkana, Tex.) and Corina Marginas (Brasov, Romania) on the all-tournament team.

Led by Gregory’s match-high 17 kills, five North Texas players recorded double-figure kills to lead the Mean Green past UTPA 30-27, 30-26, 25-30, 30-20. The Mean Green posted a .253 hitting percentage, while the Lady Broncs hit just .151.

Jill Ruskowski (Richmond, Tex.), Marginas and Brieanne Fowler (Odessa, Tex.) all produced a double-double in the match, while Stephanie Connors (San Antonio, Tex.) collected a career and match-high 17 digs. Sheppard piled up a match-best 56 assists to pace the North Texas offensive attack.

North Texas’ match against Lamar was a back-and-forth battle that lasted 2:41, but the Mean Green finally got past the Lady Cardinals 28-30, 30-27, 23-30, 30-21, 15-5. NT posted a .269 hitting percentage in comparison to Lamar’s .200.

Gregory smashed a career-best 22 kills and Marginas had 21 kills to lead North Texas. Anne Pope (Aurora, Colo.) also recorded double-figure kills, finishing the match with a career-high 14. Sheppard dished out a season-high 60 assists in the outing.

North Texas is back in action Sept. 5-6 at the SMS Tournament. Joining the Mean Green in the tournament field will be St. Louis, BYU and host-school Southwest Missouri State.

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