Sept. 10, 2009
DALLAS (SMU) - Riding the momentum from their first five-set victory of the season, a 3-2 win over crosstown rival TCU, the Mustangs travel to Missoula, Mont., for the Montana Invitational in the West Auxiliary Gym Friday and Saturday.
The tournament field has some familiar faces awaiting the Mustangs (4-4), as SMU will open with a rematch against host Montana (3-4) Friday at 1 p.m. The Mustangs took a 3-0 victory from the Grizzlies in the 2008 Doubletree Classic in Dallas in the schools' only other meeting.
The Mustangs will then face Arizona State (5-1) for the second time in school history. The match, scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, will be a rematch from a 3-0 loss to the Sun Devils in 2003.
The Mustangs will close out the tournament against North Dakota, a team that is in their first season at the NCAA Division I level. The Sioux are 5-2 this season, but have dropped two of their last three. The Mustangs have never faced a team from either of the Dakotas. SMU's final match at the tournament will start Saturday at 6 p.m.
Sophomore Dana Powell leads the Mustangs into competition after recording her sixth double-double of the season against TCU, blasting 23 kills and recording 11 digs in the win. Powell leads the team, ranking third in Conference USA with 3.88 kills per set. Her 132 kills tops the conference, while she is also ranked third in points, 4.07 per set, 14th in hitting percentage, .289, and 20th in digs, 2.68 per set.
As a team, SMU ranks sixth in the conference with a .225 hitting percentage, while senior Kendra Kahanek is hitting a 15th-best .288. The Mustangs enter the tournament ranked fifth in the conference in kills, averaging 12.47 per set.