Sept. 14, 2013
SAN DIEGO (SMU) - The Mustangs won back-to-back sets to force a fifth set against Harvard, but after SMU scored three straight to tie the score 14-14, the Crimson scored the next two for a 16-14 set win, taking the match 3-2 (25-23, 25-19, 22-25, 18-25, 16-14). Caroline Young led the offensive attack with 15 kills, and Avery Acker had 50 assists and 12 digs for her second straight double-double.
SMU beat Harvard in nearly every statistical category, including kills, 59-57, digs, 63-49, and blocks, 11.0-10.0, but came up two points short for the second consecutive match. The Mustangs erased a 5-0 deficit in the fifth set, tying the score 8-8, and found themselves facing match point, down 14-11. SMU again rallied to tie the score before the Crimson ended the match.
Abbey Bybel scored 11 kills, and Janelle Giordano and Maddie Lozano each finished with 10, giving SMU four players with at least 10 for the second straight match. Morgan Heise had a team-high 13 digs, and Bybel and Young each had nine. Lozano had seven blocks, including three solos in the match.
The Mustangs extended the match with a 25-22 win in the third set. SMU trailed by three midway through the set, but rallied to eventually take a 20-19 lead. Bybel served the last two points, as the Mustangs scored three straight for the win. Young scored five kills in the set, and SMU posted three blocks.
SMU used the momentum gained from the third set victory to build a 16-9 lead in the fourth, scoring six straight during the run. Harvard fought off three straight set points before SMU was able to seal the win with a kill by Young, her fourth of the set.
Bybel scored five of her 11 kills in the first set, but the Crimson scored the last three points of the set to win 25-23 for the early advantage. SMU hit .406 as a team, and was better than Harvard in every column on the stat sheet, but Harvard scored when it mattered the most, answering SMU's 3-0 run for a 23-22 lead with its own 3-0 run to take the set.
SMU tied the second set at 18-18, but Harvard went on a 7-1 run to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match with the 25-19 win. The Mustangs managed just nine kills, hitting .100, while the Crimson scored 15 with a .379 attack percentage. Neither team led by more than three before Harvard's run to end the set.
The Mustangs play their final match at the Aztec Invitational tonight against Northeastern at 7:30 p.m. CT. SMU is on the road the next two weekends before returning home to host Louisville on Oct. 4.