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Gilroy leads Trojans to victory

DENTON, Texas — Meghan Gilroy recorded a game-high 16 kills, leading the Troy Trojans to a 3-1 victory over North Texas in a tightly-contested Sun Belt Conference match Sunday afternoon.

Gilroy paced the Trojans with 30 total attack attempts, hitting .500, in a 25-22, 22-25, 25-18, 26-24 four-set victory over North Texas at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.

The Trojans trailed early in the first set before Megan Henderson tied the opening set at 7-all with a kill, and the two teams continued to trade points until a kill from Aubre Smith ignited a 4-0 run to give Troy a 14-11 lead midway through the set. The lead grew to as many as four with Henderson and Gilroy combined on a block for a 17-13 advantage, but North Texas came back and tied the set twice with the last being at 19-all.

Following a service error by the Mean Green gave Troy a 20-19 lead, the Trojans scored the next two points for a 22-19 lead. North Texas battled back to 23-21 until Brittany McClelland gave Troy a 24-21 lead, and an attack error by North Texas ended the first set.

After North Texas capture the second set to even the match at 1-1 heading into the locker room, the Trojans found themselves down by as many as eight to open the third set at 10-2. A 14-6 run by the Trojans tied the score at 16-all, with the run highlighted by Gilroy’s four kills and a kill each from Henderson and Meghan Washlow.

The Trojans also forced six attack errors by North Texas to pull even midway through the third set. The run continued and was pushed to 19-6 as the Trojans went ahead with a pair of kills and pair of blocks (Gilroy with Henderson and Erin Kissling), to push ahead 21-16.

North Texas ended the run on a kill by Brittanu Youman and climbed within 21-18 until a kill from Gilroy, a service ace from Kissling, a North Texas attack error and a kill from Henderson ended the third set for the Trojans.

Leading 2-1 overall, Troy needed just one more victory to end the match heading into the fourth set. In the final set, Troy found itself trailing again – this time by as many as eight at 13-5 – after North Texas jumped to an early 8-1 lead.

Troy continued to fight its way back into the match, going on another 14-6 run to tie the set at 19-all. North Texas went back ahead 20-19 on a kill from Roxana Casvean and held that lead to a set point at 24-23.

An attack error by Salah Schoenecke opened the door for the Trojans as the set was tied at 24-all. A kill from Gilroy gave Troy a 25-24 lead and prompted a North Texas timeout. Following the timeout, Gilroy took a pass from Washlow and ended the match with her 16th kill on the afternoon.

Smith added nine kills for Troy, while Henderson and McClelland added six each in the victory. Hederson recorded 35 assists, to go along with seven digs, while Washlow led the Trojans with nine digs.

Troy held North Texas to just .126 hitting on the afternoon to seal up their fourth conference victory of the season.

Troy (13-14, 4-8 Sun Belt) returns to action at Trojan Arena, hosting Middle Tennessee State University on Halloween night at 7 pm. Admission is free to all home volleyball matches at Trojan Arena.