Mustangs Drop 3-2 Heartbreaker At Rice; Face Houston Sunday At 1 P.M.

Go smu! Abbey Bybel
Go smu!
Abbey Bybel
Go smu!

Sept. 28, 2012

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HOUSTON, Texas (SMU) - Freshman Abbey Bybel recorded a season-high 16 kills, nearly leading the Mustangs to a comeback victory at Rice, but the Owls took the fifth set for a 3-2 win (25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 25-27, 15-10) to remain perfect in Conference USA matches.

Bybel hit .244 and had 13 digs for the first double-double of her collegiate career. Senior Courtney Manning posted eight blocks, needing just six more to become the SMU all-time leader. Kendra Kahanek holds the school record with 530. Manning also had 11 kills in the match.

In the fifth set, Rice (11-7, 4-0 C-USA) broke a 6-6 tie with a 4-0 run. SMU (4-12, 1-3 C-USA) was three points back before the Owls scored the last two to end the match with the 15-10 win.

SMU forced a fifth set with a comeback win, 27-25, in the fourth set. Trailing 23-21, the Mustangs scored the next three points before Rice extended the set. The Owls were just a point away from ending the match when Bybel blasted another kill, tying the score 25-25. Two points later, Bybel team with Courtney Manning for a block to give the Mustangs the win and extend the match.

The Mustangs scored five points in a row to take the third set 25-19. The Owls jumped out to a 5-2 lead early in the set, but SMU scored the next three to even the set, 5-5. Rice opened a five-point lead, winning 12-7, just 13 points away from sweeping the match, but the Mustangs rallied to tie the score 15-15. SMU out-scored the Owls 8-2 down the stretch for the win.

SMU fought of a pair of set points before Rice took a 2-0 advantage with the 25-21 win in the second set. The Mustangs took their first lead of the match 4-3, but the Owls scored the next four points. Rice stretched the lead to as many as seven points before SMU rallied to get within three, but it wasn't enough to take the set.

The Mustangs erased a four-point deficit early in the first set, coming back to tie the score 7-7. Rice opened the lead again, but the Mustangs again fought back to even the score, 19-19. The Owls held SMU to just one more point, taking the first set 25-20.

Avery Acker recorded her second double-double with 23 assists and 22 digs, and Susan Lewis led SMU with 27 digs. Maddie Lozano had seven kills with seven blocks, and Caroline Young had eight kills and four blocks. Olivia Bailey finished with 29 assists and six digs.

The Mustangs conclude the Houston road trip against Houston Sunday at 1 p.m.