Nov. 24, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. (SMU) - SMU clinched a top two finish in the American Athletic Conference with its 13th 3-0 win of the season, beating USF in Tampa Sunday (25-14, 25-20, 25-16). Caroline Young led the Mustangs with 13 kills, and Cailin Bula and Janelle Giordano each finished with 11. Avery Acker recorded her 12th double-double of the season with 38 assists and a team-high 14 digs.
The Mustangs (21-9, 13-4 American) took a 6-3 lead over the Bulls (16-14, 10-6 American), and never let USF back within two points, winning the final set 25-16 to complete the sweep. Leading 12-10, the Mustangs went on a 7-1 rally to take a 19-11 lead. Giordano, a freshman, led SMU with six kills in the third set, and Acker had six digs.
Morgan Heise finished with 11 of SMU's 47 digs, and the Mustangs finished the match with a .318 hitting percentage. USF was held to a .081 attack percentage, and SMU out-scored the Bulls 47-27 off the attack.
With the scored tied 8-8, SMU broke the first set open with a 9-2 run to take a 17-10 lead. The Mustangs closed out the set, out-scoring the Bulls 8-4 down the stretch to take a 25-14 first-set win. SMU scored the first four points of the set, but USF blocked its way back, getting three of its four in the set during the run to tie the score at 8-8. The Mustangs hit .235 in the first, and Young had four kills. USF was held to a -.038 attack percentage, scoring just six kills.
The Mustangs out-scored the Bulls 8-2 over the last 10 points of the second set to take a 2-0 lead in the match with a 25-20 win. Trailing 12-9, SMU scored four straight to take a 13-12 lead, and extended the lead to 17-13, but USF battled back to take an 18-17 lead before the Mustangs went on their late run for the win. Young had six kills and Bula accounted for six points with five kills and a block to pace SMU.
SMU will conclude the regular season Wednesday at Houston at 5 p.m.