Oct. 2, 2012
SMU embarks on the second half of a four match road trip, taking on UCF in Orlando, Fla., Friday at 7 p.m. CT before concluding the road trip at Southern Miss Sunday at 1 p.m. in Hattiesburg, Miss. The Mustangs are 7-3 all-time against the Knights, including a 4-1 mark in Orlando, and have a 5-3 record against the Golden Eagles, going 2-2 in Hattiesburg.
The Last Meeting
November 20, 2011
The Last Meeting
November 5, 2011
UCF comes into the contest with a 5-11 record overall, losing seven of its last nine, and the Knights 2-2 in C-USA matches. Angelica Crump leads the team and is 11th in the conference, averaging 3.26 kills per set, and Meredith Murphy leads the team defensively with 204 digs, ranking 10th in C-USA with 3.58 per set.
Southern Miss is 6-10 overall, 2-2 in C-USA matches, going 5-4 in its last nine matches. The Golden Eagles boast three players averaging at least 3.00 kills per set, led by Jasmine Crowell who is 10th in the league with 3.28 kills per set. She also has 58 blocks and 73 digs. Setter Kristen Fleming is third in C-USA with 10.55 assists per set, and is one of just four setters in the league with at least 600 assists.
The Mustangs return home to Moody Coliseum against Tulane on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. After an Oct. 14 match at home against UTEP, SMU will host Tulsa in its annual "Dig Pink" match on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. The "Dig Pink" initiative is an event in conjunction with the Side-Out Foundation designed to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.
MANNING CHASING CAREER RECORDS
Courtney Manning broke her own SMU single-season blocks record last season with an NCAA-high 185 total blocks. As a sophomore, Manning posted 162 blocks, breaking Natalie Peters' record of 151 set in 2005. Manning is third all-time in Conference USA for a season. The senior is second on the career chart at SMU with 526 total blocks, and ranks sixth in C-USA. Kendra Kahanek holds the school record with 530 blocks, and Stephanie Meinig set the conference mark with 593.
MANNING GETS OFFENSIVE
Courtney Manning has made a name for herself as a blocking beast, but the senior middle blocker is also a tremendous threat on the offensive side, as well. She has had at least eight kills in five of the last six matches, including a career-high 16 kills against Arkansas-Little Rock. She is ninth in Conference USA with a .319 hitting percentage.
Five Mustangs have combined for nine double-doubles this season, led by Olivia Bailey's four. Bailey scored 39 assists with 14 digs against Army and 31 assists and 20 digs in a 3-2 win over Arkansas-Little Rock. She finished with 31 assists and 18 digs at Tulsa, and added a season-high 51 assists and 13 digs against Marshall. Carla Armstrong accomplished the first double-double of the season for the Mustangs, scoring 10 kills with 10 digs against Cal State Fullerton for the first of her career. Freshman Avery Acker has two, posting her first double-double with 26 assists and 11 digs against Oklahoma, and adding a second with 23 assists and 22 digs at Rice. Caroline Young scored 23 kills and 18 digs against Army for the first double-double of her career, and freshman Abbey Bybel got her first with 16 kills and 13 digs at Rice.
SETTING THE TABLE
Senior transfer Olivia Bailey is sixth in Conference USA, averaging 8.63 assists per set, and is averaging 8.30 assists per set in C-USA matches. She has at least 25 assists in every match she has played in except two, including a season-high 51 against Marshall. She is also tied for second on the team with 121 digs and has 21 blocks. Freshman Avery Acker has 201 assists, averaging 4.37 per set. She has had at least 20 assists in six matches, and is fourth on the team with 109 digs.
Sophomore Caroline Young has been SMU's most dominant and consistent offensive threat this season, scoring at least 10 kills in nine matches, averaging 3.03 per set for the season. She posted at least 20 kills three times, including a career high 23 against Army. She also had a career-high 18 digs against the Black Knights for her first double-double. Young is second in Conference USA with 24 aces, and is third with 0.38 aces per set. She is also third on the team with 29 blocks.
Freshman Abbey Bybel has inserted herself into the SMU offensive attack. The 6-0 middle blocker has at least five kills in eight of the last nine matches she has played in, including a season-high 16 in the against Rice. Bybel also finished with 13 digs at Rice for her first double-double. She hit .400 against Texas State, scoring five kills, including the first kill of her collegiate career, with just one error in 10 attempts. She also has 10 blocks and 47 digs.
TRANSFER TAKING CHARGE
Junior transfer Maddie Lozano is leading the Mustangs with 69 blocks, ranking fifth in Conference USA with 1.10 blocks per set. Making the feat even more impressive, two-time single-season record setter Courtney Manning is still posting blocks, recording 51 this season. Lozano has had at least four blocks in 10 matches, including five of the last six, and scored a season-high seven blocks at Rice. She also posted a season-high 12 kills against ECU and has had nine kills in four matches.
LEWIS DIGS DEFENSE
Senior Susan Lewis won the starting libero position after three different players saw action in the different colored jersey early in the season. In six of the last eight matches, Lewis has recorded at least 10 digs, including a career-high 29 against Arkansas-Little Rock, which is the seventh most in a match by a C-USA player this season. She has climbed into the top-15 in C-USA, ranking 12th overall with 3.40 digs per set, and ranks seventh in the league in conference matches, averaging 3.90 digs per set.