Aug 27, 2013
SMU OPENS SEASON AT TEXAS STATE CLASSIC
The Last Meeting
September 7, 2012
Mustangs Fall Short Against Texas State
DALLAS (SMU) - Freshman Abbey Bybel had three kills and a block in the third set, sparking a rally for the Mustangs who pulled to within one point, 20-19, after trailing Texas State by as many as eight. The Bobcats (5-5) held off the charge for a 3-0 win (28-26, 25-13, 25-23) over SMU (2-6) in Moody Coliseum.
The Last Meeting
September 3, 2011
Mustangs Down Lamar 3-0 In Doubletree Classic
DALLAS (SMU) - The SMU volleyball team needed just three sets to beat Lamar Saturday in Moody Coliseum, taking their second match of the Doubletree Classic 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-16).
Jessica Oliver led the Mustangs with 10 kills, and Dana Powell added a team-high 15 digs. Kelli Becerra had 36 assists, and Sidney Stewart had 13 digs for SMU.
The Mustangs begin the 2013 season at the Texas State Classic where they will face Quinnipiac for the first time in program history before a Friday night match-up with the host Bobcats. SMU will wrap up the tourament with a Saturday morning contest against Lamar.
Junior Caroline Young, who earned All-America honorable mention last season, and senior Maddie Lozano, who finished with a team-high 132 blocks, will lead the team this season. The 2013 squad features nine returning letterwinners, including four starters. SMU will also rely on youth in 2012 to turn into experience in 2013. The Mustangs had six, three freshmen and three sophomores, who played in at least 86 sets last season.
Quinnipiac returns nine of its 11 players from a 2-23 team in 2012. Tanner Celestin led the team with 2.20 kills per set as a sophomore, scoring 154 kills in 523 attempts. Opponents averaged over four kills more per set than the Bobcats, scoring 12.41 kills to 7.96, and averaged 14.13 digs per set, while Quinnipiac managed 10.76.
SMU takes on its second straight Bobcats team in host Texas State on Friday night, the fourth meeting between the two schools and the first road match for the Mustangs. SMU earned a pair of 3-1 wins in 2009 and 2010 before falling to the Bobcats last season. Texas State returns its top three attackers from last season. Alexandra Simms led the team with 3.00 kills last season. As a sophomore, Simms hit .169 with 151 errors in 990 attacks. Amari Deardorff and Ashlee Hilbun also averaged over two kills per set while hitting over .230. Texas State went 14-16 last season, with a 9-9 conference record in its first season in the Western Athletic Conference.
The Mustangs conclude play at the Texas State Classic Saturday morning against Lamar, also facing the Cardinals for the fourth time in school history. SMU has only lost one set against the Cardinals, earning sweeps in 2007 and 2011 with a 3-1 neutral-site victory in the only match not played in Moody Coliseum. Sierra Whittaker is Lamar's top returning attacker after finishing second on the team with 2.76 kills per set last season. The Cardinals went 10-22 with a 2-16 conference mark.
START OF A NEW ERA
Joining the American Athletic Conference for its inaugural season, the SMU volleyball team is competing in its third conference since the program's inception in 1996. The American consists of 10 teams during its first season, highlighted by preseason favorite Louisville, a team that went 30-4 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. The league includes former BIG EAST members Temple (19-11), Connecticut (19-12), Rutgers (18-12), USF (17-15) and Cincinnati (12-20), as well as former Conference USA members Memphis (20-13), UCF (18-15) and Houston (9-19).
ALL-CONFERENCE PRESEASON TEAM
Caroline Young and Maddie Lozano were each selected to the All-American Athletic Conference Preseason Team, which consisted of 12 student-athletes from the league's 10 member institutions, as voted on by the coaches. Young was one of six unanimous selections to the team, and SMU was one of just three schools with multiple selections. Louisville led the team with four players, and UCF also had two honorees.
ALL-CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL
1. Louisville (7) 79
2. UCF (2) 69
3. UConn (1) 59
4. Cincinnati 53
5. USF 49
6. SMU 41
7. Temple 36
8. Houston 26
9. Rutgers 21
10. Memphis 17
A TEMPORARY HOME
SMU will play its home matches in the Dedman Center on campus while the renovation project is completed on Moody Coliseum, the home of SMU volleyball and men's and women's basketball. The Dedman Center, located directly south of Moody Coliseum, serves as a multi-sport and recreational activity facility for SMU students and members of the community. The $47-million renovation project will be completed in time for SMU's December Commencement ceremony, and the Mustangs will return for the 2014 volleyball season.
Caroline Young earned All-America honorable mention as a sophomore last season, and named to both the AVCA All-Midwest Region and All-Conference USA first teams. The outside hitter led the team and finished ninth in Conference USA with 3.39 kills per set, totaling 397 with a .236 hitting percentage. Young finished the season ranked 14th in the NCAA in aces per set, setting an SMU single-season record with a league-high 51. She also recorded 125 digs, 63 blocks and eight assists during her second season on the Hilltop. Young was one of just two Mustangs to play in all 117 sets, starting all 31 matches.
During her first season on the Hilltop, middle blocker Maddie Lozano etched her name in the SMU record books with a team-high 132 blocks, eighth in a single-season at SMU. The juniors finished in the top-100 in the NCAA with 1.14 blocks per set, playing in 116 of 117 during the year. She was also second on the team with 238 kills and third in attack percentage among six Mustangs with at least 100 kills, hitting .214. Lozano recorded 66 digs, 20 aces and 12 assists during the campaign, as well.
YOUTH THEN EQUALS EXPERIENCE NOW
The Mustangs had six players, three sophomores and three freshmen, who each played at least 86 of 117 sets last season, and five started at least 10 matches. The six underclassmen combined for 885 of SMU's 1,489 kills and 1,051.5 of 1,898.5 points scored during the season. Caroline Young led the youthful charge, scoring a team-high 481.5 points as a sophomore. Freshman Abbey Bybel was fourth on the team with 208 points, and freshman Cailin Bula was fifth with 189.
SOPHOMORE STARTING SETTER
Avery Acker played multiple positions during her freshman season, including setter and libero. An injury put her in the starting setter role for the first three matches of her career, where she averaged 11.0 assists per set over the first two matches with a season-high 35 in her first collegiate match. Acker finished the season with 227 assists, starting at setter in just two more matches, and scored 27 kills with 170 digs.
Cailin Bula earned all-tournament honors at the Georgia Tech Invite in her first collegiate competition, hitting .733 with 12 kills in her first match. She finished the weekend with 13 kills against Georgia Tech, a season high which she matched against Arkansas-Little Rock. Bula finished the season with 162 kills, fifth on the team, and had 88 digs and 33 blocks.
The four members of the 2013 freshman class combined for 12 all-district honors, three all-state honors, two club national runner-up finishes and one state championship runner-up finish during their high school careers. During the scrimmage against the alumni, Janelle Giordano led the Mustangs with 10 kills and four blocks, and Morgan Heise had a team-high 17 digs, with each playing three sets. Kristin Stehling led the team in attack percentage, hitting .857 with six kills in seven attempts and zero errors. She also had four digs.
Abbey Bybel was fourth on the team in 2012, scoring 191 kills as a freshman, and her 2.22 kills per set ranked second on the squad. The middle blocker turned outside hitter scored 208.0 points in 86 sets, finishing the year with a .172 attack percentage. She also had 104 digs and 24 blocks.