Oct. 16, 2013
The Last Meeting
October 5, 2012
Manning Ties School Record With 530th Career Block In SMU's 3-1 Win At UCF
ORLANDO, Fla. (SMU) - Courtney Manning recorded her fourth block of the match to give SMU a 26-25 lead in the fourth set. The block was Manning's 530th career-block, tying the SMU record set by Kendra Kahanek in 2009. Manning's block put the Mustangs back on top, and SMU held on the take the fourth set 29-27, winning the match 3-1 (16-25, 25-23, 25-21, 29-27).
The Mustangs begin a five-match homestand in the Dedman Center Friday night against USF at 7 p.m. On Sunday, SMU will host UCF for its annual Dig Pink match, an initiative to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. SMU enters the weekend 12-7 overall and 4-2 in the American Athletic Conference after suffering its first road conference loss at Temple.
Caroline Young leads the Mustangs, who are 4-1 at home this season, and is fifth in the American with 3.49 kills per set. Avery Acker is 31st in the NCAA with 11.05 assists per set, and Morgan Heise is climbing the digs charts with 3.53 per set. She matched her season high with 18 at Memphis, and has had at least 10 in 15 matches, including all six American matches.
SMU will face on of the top defensive teams in the conference Friday with the Bulls leading the conference with 2.49 blocks per set and ranking second in total blocks with 174.0. USF is second in digs per set, 16.89, led by Erin Fairs, who is averaging 4.25 per set, fourth in the league. Fairs also leads the offensive attack for the Bulls, ranking second in the American with 3.60 kills per set.
Sunday's matchup features two of the top three offensive teams in the American Athletic Conference, with UCF leading the league in hitting percentage, .255, and matching Louisville for the top spot with 13.50 kills per set. SMU is tied for second with the Cardinals, hitting .232, and ranks third with 13.33 kills per set.
Angelica Crump leads the conference with 3.74 kills per set for the Knights, and DeLaina Sarden is hitting a league-best .418 with 226 kills in 409 attempts, ranking sixth with 3.32 per set.
SMU is 7-3 all-time against former C-USA foe UCF, including a 3-1 mark at home. The Mustangs have played USF just once before, falling 3-1 in Tampa.
SMU recorded the first conference win in the history of the American Athletic Conference, defeating Connecticut 3-0 in 1:25, eight minutes faster than Houston swept Rutgers on Friday, Sept. 27. Caroline Young had 15 kills, SMU hit .317 as a team, and three players had at least 10 digs. SMU held UConn to a .178 attack percentage, and had 44 digs to 32 by the Huskies.
ON THE MARK
The Mustangs are tied for second in the American Athletic Conference, hitting .232 as a team. In conference matches, SMU is hitting .229. Three Mustangs are in the top 10 individually, led by freshman Janelle Giordano, who ranks fifth, hitting .284. Caroline Young climbed to sixth, raising her attack percentage to .283, and is third in conference matches at .353. Maddie Lozano ranks ninth, hitting .249.
Avery Acker is second in the American Athletic Conference and 31st in the NCAA, averaging 11.05 assists per set. She has 718 on the season, and recorded a career-high 57 in a four-set win against Davidson. In league play, the sophomore is averaging 11.76 assists per set and is just one behind the conference leader with 247 assists in American matches. She has finished with at least 50 assists in five matches this season, including two American matches. The sophomore also has a team-high eight double-doubles, including all six conference matches, scoring a season-high 17 digs at Rutgers with 51 assists. The sophomore is second on the team with 158 digs and has 34 blocks.
OFF THE BLOCK
The Mustangs are fifth in the American Athletic Conference with 2.20 blocks per set, and with 53.5 blocks in American matches, SMU is just 3.5 behind league-leader UConn. Maddie Lozano is tied for second in the league with 1.13 blocks per set, and is tied for third with 78 total blocks. Freshman Janelle Giordano is tied for seventh in the conference with 61 blocks. Caroline Young has 44, and Avery Acker has 34. SMU has 154.0 blocks on the season, including a season-high 13.5 against San Francisco.
Maddie Lozano is third on the team in attack percentage among Mustangs with at least 100 attempts, .249, and in kills, 156. She is in the top 10 in the American Athletic Conference in both hitting percentage and blocks per set, averaging 1.13 with 78 blocks. Lozano has 210 in just her second season on the Hilltop, and is closing in on the top 10 all-time at SMU. She needs five to pass Kelly Larkan (214, 2001-05).
Caroline Young leads the Mustangs in kills, 244, aces, 21, and points, 287.5. She ranks fifth in the American with 3.49 kills per set, and is third the league with 3.90 per set in conference matches. Her 21 aces are third overall. The junior also has 112 digs, including a season-high 15 at Rutgers for her second of three double-doubles on the season, and 44 blocks. As a sophomore, Young earned All-America honorable mention, and she is on pace to climb into the top 10 all-time in kills at SMU.
THE DIFFERENT JERSEY
While the Mustangs are averaging just 13.34 digs per set this season, Morgan Heise is averaging more than 25 percent of the team's digs. The freshman libero has 247 digs, ranking 10th in the American with 3.51 per set. She posted at least 10 digs in 15 matches, including 13 of the last 14, with a season-high 18 at College of Charleston and at Memphis. She has 80 digs in American matches, averaging 3.81 per set. She earned Best Libero honors at the SMU Invitational with 36 digs in 10 sets.
The Mustangs have three freshmen in the regular rotation, with Janelle Giordano and Morgan Heise starting every match. Kristen Stehling has played in 17 matches with six starts, and has scored 92 kills as one of four players to see time as a left side hitter. She also has 41 digs and 14 blocks. Morgan Heise has played every set at libero for SMU this season, and ranks 10th in the American with 3.51 digs per set. Janelle Giordano has also started every match, splitting rotations with senior middle blocker Maddie Lozano. Giordano has 61 blocks, tied for seventh in the league, and is fifth in the conference with a .284 attack percentage, highest among attackers with at least 100 attempts.
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).
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.