Oct. 5, 2012
ORLANDO, Fla. (SMU) - Courtney Manning recorded her fourth block of the match to give SMU a 26-25 lead in the fourth set. The block was Manning's 530th career-block, tying the SMU record set by Kendra Kahanek in 2009. Manning's block put the Mustangs back on top, and SMU held on the take the fourth set 29-27, winning the match 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 25-21, 29-27).
Caroline Young led the Mustangs with a career-high 26 kills, hitting .449 for the match. Maddie Lozano reached double figures with 10 kills and had four blocks. Olivia Bailey recorded her fifth double-double of the season with a season-high 53 assists and 11 digs, eclipsing 50 for the second time this season. Susan Lewis had a match-high 23 digs.
After taking the second and third sets for a 2-1 lead, SMU trailed 18-14 in the fourth set. With a fifth set looming, the Mustangs rallied for nine of the next 11 points to take a 23-20 lead, just two points from ending the match. UCF scored the next four points, getting three kills from Angelica Crump who had 10 kills, before Bailey blasted a kill to the floor to fight off a set point instead of setting an SMU hitter.
SMU had to fight off one more set point before Manning and Carla Armstrong teamed up for the block to put SMU back in front. Young scored her 26th kill to give SMU its third attempt to win the match, and then teamed with Lozano for a block to end the match. SMU (5-13, 2-4 Conference USA) won three straight sets after dropping the first at UCF (5-12, 2-3 C-USA) to take the road win.
The Mustangs charged out of the break on a 10-3 run to start the third set. The Knights rallied back, cutting the lead to one, 19-18, but SMU held UCF to just two more points the rest of the way. Lozano put the Mustangs in front 2-1 with her ninth kill to seal the 25-21 victory.
SMU evened the match in the second set, holding on for a 25-23 win going into the lockerroom. SMU led for most of the second set after erasing UCF's 4-1 lead with a 6-0 run. Once the Mustangs took the lead, they didn't trail by more than a point the rest of the set. With the score tied 21-21, the Mustangs scored the next three points to get to set point. The Knights fought off two set points before Young blasted her 14th kill of the match to win the set.
The Mustangs fought back in the first set, trimming a five-point UCF lead, 13-8, down to one, 14-13, but Young's set-high five kills weren't enough to give SMU an early advantage in the match. The Knights rallied to score six of the next eight points, stretching the lead back to five, 20-15, before eventually taking the set 25-16.
SMU will take on Southern Sunday at noon Miss in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Mustangs return home to Moody Coliseum to host Tulane Friday at 7 p.m. SMU will face UTEP on Oct. 14, and the annual "Dig Pink" match is scheduled for Oct. 19 against Tulsa.