Nov. 22, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. (SMU) - The Mustangs won the last three sets for a 3-1 (17-25, 25-17, 27-25, 25-15) win at UCF Friday night. Caroline Young recorded a match-high 19 kills, the most by an SMU player in an American Athletic Conference match. Maddie Lozano also had 10 kills with six blocks and five digs to lead SMU to its 20th win of the season. SMU improved to 20-9 overall and 12-4 in the American, reaching 20 wins in a season for the fourth time in program history and the second time in the last four seasons.
With a one-point advantage in the fourth set, the Mustangs went on a 6-1 run to take a 13-7 lead. UCF (19-10, 10-5 American) was only able to get as close as four points the rest of the way. Leading 16-12, SMU out-scored the Knights 9-3 down the stretch to end the match with a 25-15 win, the largest margin of the match. Each team had five blocks in the set, but the Mustangs had 13 kills to UCF's nine.
Young recorded her 1,000th career kill, and Cailin Bula finished with eight kills and six digs with two aces. Avery Acker had 45 assists with six digs and four blocks. Morgan Heise led the team with 10 digs. SMU hit .211 as a team, and held UCF to a .146 attack percentage.
SMU outlasted UCF in the third set for a 27-25 win to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Stehling and Bula scored kills for the final two points after UCF fought off SMU's third attempt at set point to tie the score, 25-25. The Mustangs took a 7-4 lead early in the set, but the Knights tied the score, 8-8, and the battle was on. Neither team led by more than two points the rest of the set. UCF took the first multi-point advantage, 16-14, but the Mustangs rallied for four straight to take an 18-16 lead. SMU never got behind by more than one again in the third, and UCF never got a chance to serve for the set.
UCF scored eight of the first 10 points to start the match, and SMU was never able to erase the deficit, falling 25-17 in the first set. SMU out-scored the Knights 13-10 on the attack, but UCF had five blocks and the Mustangs hit 10 attack errors with just seven digs in the opening frame. Young had four kills to lead the SMU offense.
The Mustangs flipped the script in the second set, hitting .429 with 17 kills and just two errors en route to a 25-17 win to even the match, 1-1. Young had six kills in the set, and recorded two of SMU's three blocks. After SMU started the set on an 8-3 run, the Knights cut the lead to two, 10-8. The Mustangs scored the next four straight, and UCF didn't get within four points the rest of the way.
SMU plays at USF Sunday at 12 p.m. CT before concluding the regular season Wednesday at Houston at 6 p.m. CT.