DENTON, Texas (AStateRedWolves.com) – The Arkansas State volleyball team fell in four sets to Sun Belt Conference West Division foe North Texas 25-20, 25-18, 22-25 and 25-22 on Friday night.
Sophomore Marie Hadar paced A-State (17-12, 7-6) with 11 kills, while Kelsie Hodges had 10 kills and a .318 hitting percentage. Allison Kearney added a team-high 42 assists and junior libero Megan Baska led the ASU defense with 12 digs.
The Red Wolves started slow and fell behind 15-10 in the first set. ASU closed the deficit to 18-15, but could get no closer as the Mean Green took advantage of its side out opportunities, converting on 89 percent of them in the set, on its way to afive point victory.
"We didn't get off to a very good start and North Texas is a very tough place to play," ASU volleyball coach David Rehr said. "It is tough to communicate and when you get behind early in a place like that it is hard to try and play catch up."
After dropping the second set, the Red Wolves returned from the break energized and built a 16-12 edge, but the Mean Green (22-11, 8-5) refused to go away and rallied to tie the score at 18-18.
Seniors Jasmine Terry and Amanda Chaparro led the final attack in the set for ASU with four kills, including a kill from Terry on set point to give A-State the 25-22 win.
The Red Wolves carried the momentum in the fourth set and held a slim 13-12 lead. However, the Mean Green went on a 9-2 run to take a six-point lead. ASU slowly chipped away at the margin and pulled within 23-22 after a kill from Hodges, but failed to even the score. North Texas scored the match's final two points to earn the set and match victory.
"We are not where we want to be, but we do go to ULM on Sunday and try to the right the ship," Rehr said. "They are not an easy team to play because they are so unorthodox and you have to communicate when you play teams like that. That was one of our issues tonight and it's something we are going to have to do better."
A-State finished with a side out percentage of 57 percent, including a 72 percent conversion rate in the first set. However, North Texas matched ASU step-for-step and finished with a side out percentage of 65 percent.