Mustangs Fall In Five Sets At Marshall

Go smu! Caroline Young led the Mustangs with 16 kills.
Go smu!
Caroline Young led the Mustangs with 16 kills.
Go smu!

Oct. 23, 2011

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (SMU) - The SMU volleyball team went down in five sets (25-19, 17-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11) at Marshall Sunday, falling to 9-14 overall, 5-6 in Conference USA, while the Thundering Herd improved to 5-15, 4-7 in C-USA.

Caroline Young led the Mustangs in kills for the fourth-straight match, hitting .270 with 16 kills. Dana Powell had 14 kills and 13 digs, and Jessica Oliver added 13 kills. Savannah Myklebust had 10 kills with 12 digs, and Courtney Manning added nine kills and five blocks.

SMU had 14.0 team blocks, led by Caroline Daly's eight. Kendrick Koch posted her second-straight double-double with 28 assists and 18 digs. Kelli Becerra finished with 26 assists and 10 digs for her 12th double-double of the season. Sidney Stewart also had a match-high 20 digs.

The Mustangs forced a decisive fifth set, scoring four of the last five points of the fourth set for a 25-23 victory. Marshall opened the fourth set on a 6-1 run, attempting end the match early, but SMU rallied to tie it 8-8. The Mustangs took the lead and stretched it to three, 15-12. SMU still held a three-point lead, 21-18, but Marshall came back to take a 23-22 lead before SMU scored three in a row for the win.

SMU erased a two-point deficit early in the final set to take a 10-8 lead. Marshall called a timeout and held the Mustangs to just one more point, taking the match with a 15-11 win in the fifth set.

With the match tied at one set apiece, Marshall came out of the lockerroom and opened the third set on a 5-1 run, but the Mustangs scored 11 of the next 15 points for a 12-9 lead midway through the set. The runs became shorter down the stretch, but Marshall came back to tie the set 18-18. The Thundering Herd managed to hold off the Mustangs, who fought off one set point before falling 25-23.

The Mustangs found themselves on the short end of a first set that went back and forth for the majority of the set. SMU took a 7-4 lead early, and held the three-point advantage with a 10-7 lead, but Marshall rallied to take an 11-10 lead. From that point on, neither team led by more than two points until Marshall broke a 19-19 tie with six straight points to take the first set 25-19.

SMU came out in dominating fashion to open the second set, building a 16-8 lead on the strength of its defense, scoring five of the first 16 points with blocks. After Marshall scored four of the next five points to cut the lead to five, SMU called a timeout. The Mustangs came out of the break and held the Thundering Herd to just five more points, taking a 25-17 win in the second set to even the match.

The Mustangs return home to host UAB in Moody Coliseum Friday night at 7 p.m. SMU will sponsor a tailgate for students at 12:30 p.m. before the SMU-Memphis volleyball match on Sunday at 1 p.m.