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Northwestern State heads to North Texas in search of first victory
Sep 07, 2013 | 201 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Northwestern State volleyball team continues its 10-match road stretch at the North Texas Invitational on Friday and Saturday as the Lady Demons square off with Texas State, Prairie View-A&M, the host Mean Green and Utah.

NSU will face the Bobcats (5-0) and the Lady Panthers (1-3) on Friday at 10:00 and five o’clock, respectively, before finishing on Saturday with North Texas (1-2) at 11:00 and the Utes (3-0) at five o’clock.

The Lady Demons opened the season with a 0-3 performance at the Arkansas Invitational last weekend. NSU put up strong sets with the host Razorbacks, Missouri-Kansas City and New Mexico, all sporting strong programs to start off 2013, despite the losses.

Redshirt sophomore Caiti O’Connell was named to the All-Tournament team as the 6-1 outside hitter led the Lady Demons with 27 kills in nine sets (3.00 k/s) while knocking down seven blocks on the weekend.

Freshman Ashley Elrod also appeared in all nine sets, accruing 24 kills (2.67 k/s), 20 digs (2.22 dig/s) and three blocks in her first outing as a Lady Demon.

Junior Emily Johnson set three new career-best performances, including her first-ever double-double against New Mexico with 16 digs and 11 assists.

The Bobcats picked up four wins at the Delta Zeta Texas State Classic this past weekend and later came away with a 3-0 victory over Sam Houston State Tuesday night.

Texas State began tournament play with sweeps over Lamar, Quinnipiac and Houston while dropping just one set to Southern Methodist.

Senior Amari Deardorff, a 6-2 opposite/right side hitter, earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors after collecting 46 kills and 15 blocks on the weekend. Deardoff also earned Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week after her performance over the weekend. She currently leads Texas State with 57 kills and a 4.07 kills/set average.

Junior Caylin Mahoney also picked up All-Tournament honors as she was named Most Valuable Setter, producing 115 assists in just four matches. She added 27 more to her 2013 tally on Tuesday in the shutout over SHSU.

The Lady Panthers defeated Southern 3-0 to open the 2013 season before being shutout by Oral Roberts, Texas Southern and Houston Baptist.

PVAMU was selected to finish first in the Southwest Athletic Conference preseason polls as three Lady Panthers earned All-SWAC team honors. Sophomore Rachel Owens knocked down 207 kills (1.85 k/s) and 23 blocks last season.

LaKeisha Allen led the Lady Panthers with 234 digs last season to earn All-SWAC second team accolades, followed by Charae Caldwell who recorded a team-high 35 blocks. Caldwell also knocked down 137 kills on the season.

The Mean Green began the season at the Loyola Marymount Invitational, falling to the host Lions and No. 12 Duke before defeating Albany for its first win of the season.

UNT opened its home schedule with a 3-1 victory over local rival UT-Arlington Tuesday night. Freshman setter Amy Henard put up an astonishing 53 assists as sophomore Carnae Dillard recorded her third double-double of the season.

Dillard, a 5-8 outside hitter, currently leads UNT with 46 kills (3.54 k/s) while recording 38 digs and seven blocks. Henard picked up 140 assists in just four matches so far while senior libero Shelby Tamura dug up 52 total attacks.

The Utes garnered the Utah Classic title for the third season in row to call themselves just on of seven Pac-12 conference schools to go 3-0 during the opening weekend of the 2013 season.

Senior middle blocker Erin Redd-Brandon earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after finishing the weekend with a team-high 1.69 blocks per set average, fourth in the Pac-12. Redd-Brandon also earned All-Tournament team honors.

Senior outside hitter Morgan Ordale was named All-Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second year in row. Ordale dropped 27 kills and a 2.08 kills per set average while digging up 3.08 digs per set. She also registered her 22nd career double-double after recorded 23 digs and 12 kills against Utah State.

Northwestern State will head to the Fairfield Inn North Baylor Classic next Friday before opening its home schedule on Sept. 17 against Southern Mississippi at seven o’clock at Prather Coliseum.

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