Oct. 16, 2012
The Mustangs put their four-match winning streak on the line in a rematch with Conference USA's top team Tulsa Friday in Moody Coliseum at 7 p.m. SMU will also participate in the Side-Out Foundation's "Dig Pink" initiative, designed to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. The first 100 fans to attend the match will receive a free "SMU is Dig Pink" t-shirt. There will be a silent auction featuring SMU Athletics items, including a basketball autographed by Larry Brown. The auction will also include items autographed by the volleyball team.
The Last Meeting
September 19, 2012
SMU swept the season series a year ago, handing the two-time C-USA champion Tulsa its only losses in league play. The Golden Hurricane took a 3-2 win in Tulsa on Sept. 19 in the first conference match this season, and sit atop the conference standings with an 8-1 record, 15-8 overall. The Mustangs are tied for fifth after winning their last four matches to get to 5-4 in C-USA.
Caroline Young, who has earned two C-USA Player of the Week awards this season, leads the Mustangs and is 10th in Conference USA with 3.28 kills per set, and she has 34 aces, ranking 25th in the country with a league-high 0.43 average per set. Maddie Lozano is fourth in the conference, averaging 1.10 blocks per set with a team-high 87 blocks.
Tyler Henderson leads the conference, averaging 5.31 kills per set for Tulsa, and Jessica Adams averages a league-high 5.22 digs per set. The Golden Hurricane went 7-7 in non-conference matches, but have lost just once in conference action, at UCF.
The Mustangs are 19-14 all-time against Tulsa and have won two of the last three. SMU won the first match between the two teams 3-1 in Tulsa on Oct. 26, 1996, starting a string of five straight wins. SMU owns the longest winning streak in the series, winning eight straight from 2000 to 2004.
MANNING SETS CAREER RECORD
Courtney Manning broke Kendra Kahanek's SMU career blocks record with her first block at Southern Miss on Oct. 7, 2012, leading SMU to a come-from-behind win in the first set and eventually a sweep of the Golden Eagles. The senior 68 blocks this season, taking her career total to 543. As a junior, Manning broke her own SMU single-season blocks record with an NCAA-best 185 total blocks, which ranks third all-time in a season in Conference USA. During her sophomore campaign, she recorded 162 blocks, breaking Natalie Peters' record of 151 set in 2005. Manning is third all-time in C-USA history. Stephanie Meinig set the conference mark at 593 while playing at Cincinnati from 1997 to 2000.
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 eight of the last 10 matches, scoring at least 10 in five including a career-high 16 kills against Arkansas-Little Rock. She is third in Conference USA with a .328 hitting percentage, climbing six spots in the rankings after hitting .833 with 10 kills and no errors in 12 attempts at Southern Miss. She has hit at least .400 in nine matches, and is on pace to set the SMU career record, hitting .287.
TRANSFER TAKING CHARGE
Junior transfer Maddie Lozano is leading the Mustangs with 87 blocks, ranking fourth 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 68 this season. Lozano has had at least four blocks in 14 matches, including nine of the last 10, and scored a season-high seven blocks at Rice. She also posted a season-high 12 kills against ECU and has reached double figures four times, including three of the last four matches. Lozano is third on the team with 154 kills.
Five Mustangs have combined for 10 double-doubles this season, led by Olivia Bailey's five. 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 51 assists and 13 digs against Marshall. The senior setter posted her fifth double-double of the year with a season-high 53 assists and 11 digs at UCF. 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 fifth in Conference USA, averaging 9.12 assists per set, and is averaging 9.33 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 53 at UCF, eclipsing 50 for the second time this season. She also recorded 51 assists against Marshall, and had over 40 in both home wins this weekend, reaching 40 assists in three of the last four matches. She is also second on the team with 157 digs and has 29 blocks. Freshman Avery Acker has 202 assists, averaging 3.26 per set. She has had at least 20 assists in six matches, and is fourth on the team with 127 digs.
Sophomore Caroline Young has been SMU's most dominant and consistent offensive threat this season, scoring at least 10 kills in 13 matches, including seven of the last 10. She is 10th in Conference USA, averaging 3.28 per set for the season. She posted at least 20 kills five times, including a career high 26 at UCF. Young had nine kills in the second set alone against the Knights. She also had a career-high 18 digs with 23 kills against Army for her first double-double. Young leads C-USA and is 25th in the NCAA with 0.43 aces per set, and is second in the league with 34 aces overall. Young has scored at least three aces in the last three matches, including one on set point in the second set to lead SMU to a 3-1 win over UTEP. She is also third on the team with 40 blocks.
Freshman Abbey Bybel has inserted herself into the SMU offensive attack. The 6-0 middle blocker has at least five kills in 11 of the last 13 matches she has played in, and reached double figures in three of the last six, including a season-high 16 kills against Rice. She has scored at least 10 kills four times this season, and led SMU with 11 in a 3-1 win against UTEP. 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 13 blocks and 64 digs for the season.
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 10 of the last 12 matches, Lewis has recorded at least 10 digs, including a career-high 29 against Arkansas-Little Rock, which is the ninth most in a match by a C-USA player this season. She ranks 11th overall with 3.48 digs per set, and ranks 10th in the league in conference matches, averaging 3.86 digs per set.