Oct. 14, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) - The Mustangs won a thrilling fourth set 26-24 to hold on for a 3-1 victory over UTEP in Moody Coliseum Sunday, stretching the winning streak to four matches. Abbey Bybel, Maddie Lozano and Courtney Manning each had 11 kills to lead the Mustangs. Caroline Young finished with 10, while Cailin Bula added nine.
After the Miners (11-10, 5-4 Conference USA) won the third set, they took a 15-10 lead in the fourth. SMU (8-13, 5-4 C-USA) fought back to take its first lead in the set, 19-18. UTEP rallied for a 23-21 lead, threatening to force a fifth set. The Mustangs scrambled on the next point, keeping the ball in play on attack after attack from the Miners before Bula eventually earned the kill for the Mustangs, keeping UTEP away from a set point opportunity. Five points later, Young served her fourth ace of the match to give SMU the 3-1 win (25-15, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24).
The Mustangs won the first set in dominant fashion, serving up five aces and out-scoring UTEP 12-6 on the attack for a 25-15 win. The second set mirrored the first in the early stages; with SMU taking an 18-9 lead before UTEP countered. The Miners battled all the way back, cutting the lead to two, 23-21. The Miners killed SMU's first attempt at a set point before Bybel blasted a kill to give the Mustangs the win.
In the third set, the Mustangs rallied to earase a three-point deficit and a four-point deficit, and despite taking a 17-16 lead, SMU couldn't complete the three-set sweep. The Miners didn't let SMU battle back the third time, scoring six of the last eight points to break a 19-19 tie for the 25-21 win.
Olivia Bailey had 43 assists in the match, and recorded nine digs, finishing second behind Susan Lewis' match-high 11 digs. Lozano had five blocks, and Manning finished with three. The Mustangs complete the homestand Friday against Tulsa at 7 p.m. SMU will also be participating in the Side-Out Foundation's "Dig Pink" campaign Friday, a program designed to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.