Mustangs Cap Off Season With Thrilling Five-Set Victory Over Tulsa

Go smu! Sidney Stewart set an SMU record with 625 digs this season.
Go smu!
Sidney Stewart set an SMU record with 625 digs this season.
Go smu!

Nov. 26, 2011

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DALLAS (SMU) - The 2011 SMU volleyball senior class went out in style Saturday, taking a 3-2 win (25-19, 20-25, 11-25, 25-8, 15-12) against Tulsa, sweeping the season for the first time since 2003. The Mustangs (15-17, 11-9 Conference USA) handed Tulsa (27-6, 18-2 C-USA) its only two losses in conference matches this season, ending the Golden Hurricane's 26-match conference win streak with a 3-1 win on Oct. 5.

Seniors Jessica Oliver and Dana Powell paced SMU offensively, with Oliver scoring 17 kills and Powell finished with 10 and 19 digs for her 21st double-double of the season. Kelli Becerra recorded 27 assists and 12 digs for her 19th double-double of the season, and Sidney Stewart broke the SMU single-season digs record, posting 19 to finish the season with 625.

Tulsa led 2-1 after three sets, but the Mustangs responded in the fourth, taking a 5-1 lead to open the set. SMU stretched the lead to eight, 12-8, and never let Tulsa gain momentum, forcing the decisive fifth set.

The Mustangs scored the first three points of the final set, with Oliver scoring a pair of kills, but Tulsa rallied to take the lead 6-5. It was the last time the Golden Hurricane would hold the lead. SMU bounced right back to score the next three points, with Caroline Young and Caroline Daly combining for back-to-back blocks, to take an 8-6 lead. The match consisted of four ties over the next 10 points, resulting in a 12-12 score. The Mustangs scored the next three points to end the match with the 15-12 win. It was Young, named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team earlier in the week, who scored the final kill.

SMU posted 15.0 blocks as a team, led by Daly's nine blocks. Courtney Manning finished with eight kills and six blocks. The junior finished the year with 176 total blocks, a new school record. Young posted seven kills and two blocks.