Sept. 29, 2013
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (SMU) - Caroline Young scored 17 kills with 15 digs as the Mustangs won three straight sets for a 3-1 win at Rutgers (23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15). Maddie Lozano finished the match with 14 kills and seven blocks, and Cailin Bula posted 11 kills to lead SMU to a 2-0 record in the American Athletic Conference, 10-5 overall.
The Mustangs ended the match in the fourth set with a 25-15 win. SMU trailed 7-4, but scored eight straight to take a 12-7 lead. With a 14-11 lead, SMU used an 8-1 run to push the lead to 10, 22-12, and matched points with the Scarlet Knights (4-12, 0-2 American) to end the match.
Defensively, SMU recorded a season-high 71 digs, and had 13.5 blocks, just 0.5 off the season-best, which was posted in a five-set match against San Francisco. Avery Acker led the team with 17 digs and had 51 assists for her sixth double-double. Freshman Morgan Heise also had 12 digs.
SMU took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-17 win in the third set, hitting .310 while holding Rutgers to a -.032 clip. The Mustangs had four players with at lead three kills and a .500 or higher attack percentage in the set, while the Scarlet Knights managed just seven kills as a team. With the scored tied, 7-7, SMU went on a 9-3 run to take a 16-10 lead. Rutgers didn't get within four points the rest of the way, and the Mustangs scored the last three points for the victory.
The Mustangs led nearly the entire first set, forcing Rutgers to use a timeout with SMU leading 17-12. Lozano and Young combined for a block out of the timeout to stretch the lead to six, but then the Scarlet Knights began to rally. The Scarlet Knights scored eight of the next 10 points, taking a 20-19 lead, and held on to win the first set 25-23 when Young's attack was blocked, her first attack error of the match. The junior had eight of SMU's 19 kills in the opening set, hitting .438.
SMU answered with a 25-17 win in the second set. The Mustangs built a solid lead midway through the set for the second time, leading 18-11, but this time held the Scarlet Knights to just five more points for the win. SMU stepped up the defensive intensity in the second set, holding Rutgers to a .028 attack percentage, with three blocks and 17 digs by the Mustangs. Rutgers made an effort to stop Young, holding the outside hitter to three kills, but freshman Janelle Giordano stepped up to lead SMU with four kills in the set.
The Mustangs return home to face Louisville in the Dedman Center Friday at 7 p.m. SMU will conclude its first home conference weekend against Cincinnati on Sunday at 1 p.m.