Mustangs Host Rutgers And Connecticut To Start Second Half

Go smu!
Go smu!

Go smu!

Oct. 30, 2013

 SMU (14-8, 6-3) vs. Rutgers (4-19, 0-9)
 Date & Start Time  Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.
 Live Stats  Gametracker
 Live Video  PonyUp TV
 Location  Dedman Center
 SMU (14-8, 6-3) vs. Connecticut (11-13, 2-7)
 Date & Start Time  Sunday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m.
 Live Stats  Gametracker
 Live Video  PonyUp TV
 Location  Dedman Center
 Tickets  FREE Admission!
 Match Notes  Match Notes (.pdf)
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 Twitter  @SMUMustangs   |   @SMUVolleyball
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The Last Meeting
September 29, 2013
Piscataway, N.J.
Young Double-Double Leads SMU To 3-1 Win At Rutgers
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (SMU) - Caroline Young scored 17 kills with 15 digs as the Mustangs won three straight sets for a 3-1 win at Rutgers (23-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-15). Maddie Lozano finished the match with 14 kills and seven blocks, and Cailin Bula posted 11 kills to lead SMU to a 2-0 record in the American Athletic Conference, 10-5 overall.

The Last Meeting
September 27, 2013
Storrs, Conn.
SMU Sweeps Connecticut To Win First American Athletic Conference Match
STORRS, Conn. (SMU) - The Mustangs swept Connecticut in the first American Athletic Conference match of the season, improving to 9-5 overall with the sixth 3-0 win of the season (25-21, 25-20, 25-15). Caroline Young had 15 kills to lead SMU, and the Mustangs finished with 44 digs and 10.5 blocks.

The Mustangs host Rutgers and Connecticut in the Dedman Center this weekend, battling the two schools for the second time this season. SMU swept the Huskies on the road, earning the first conference win among American Athletic Conference schools on Sept. 27. The Mustangs enter the weekend 14-8 overall and 6-3 in the American after the first nine of 18 conference matches, while Rutgers is 4-19, 0-9 in the American, and Connecticut is 11-13 and 2-7 in league matches.

Caroline Young leads SMU and is fifth in the American with 3.40 kills per set, and is third in the league with 3.55 per set in conference matches. As a team, SMU is third overall in hitting percentage, .230, kills, 13.23, aces, 1.38, and assists, 12.29. In conference matches, the Mustangs are first in aces and second in each of the other categories. Individually, SMU has six different players who hold nine different spots in the top 10 of six statistical categories. Holding one of the rankings is sophomore setter Avery Acker, who is 40th in the NCAA and second in the American with 10.86 assists per set.

Rutgers is led by Alex Lassa, who is scoring 3.48 kills per set, but is hitting .098. No one with more than one kill is hitting higher than .250, and the Scarlet Knights are hitting .132 as a team. Defensivley, Ali Schroeter is second in the conference with 4.92 digs per set, and she is averaging 5.06 in league matches. The Scarlet Knights are fourth with 2.30 blocks per set, leading SMU by 0.03 per set.

Connecticut is led by Karson Ratliff, who averages 2.83 kills per set, but didn't play in the first match against SMU. She is one of four Huskies averaging at least two kills per set, but UConn is fifth in the conference with a .190 attack percentage, and the Huskies are hitting just .158 in American matches. Defensively, the Huskies are posting 2.75 blocks per set in nine conference matches, ranking second in the league. Erika Thomas is third in the American with 1.43 blocks per set in conference matches, and is third on the team with 2.01 kills per set overall.

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.

The Mustangs are third in the American Athletic Conference, hitting .230 as a team. In conference matches, SMU is hitting .226, which ranks second. Freshman Janelle Giordano leads the team and ranks fifth in the league, hitting .285. Junior Caroline Young leads the team with 3.40 kills per set and ranks sixth in the American with a .274 attack percentage.

Avery Acker is second in the American Athletic Conference and 40th in the NCAA, averaging 10.86 assists per set. She has 836 on the season, and recorded a career-high 57 in a four-set win against Davidson. The sophomore is leading the American with 365 assists in league matches. She is averaging 11.06 assists per set in conference play, just 0.04 behind Marie Reiterova at UCF, who leads the league with 11.10 per set. She has finished with at least 50 in a match five times, including two American matches. Acker has a team-high nine double-doubles, including five conference matches, scoring a season-high 17 digs at Rutgers with 51 assists.

The Mustangs are fifth in the American Athletic Conference with 2.27 blocks per set, and with 85.5 blocks in American matches, SMU is fourth behind league-leader Connecticut. Maddie Lozano is fifth in the league with 1.09 blocks per set, and has 83 total blocks. She has 215 in just two seasons on the Hilltop, passing Kelly Larkan for 10th all-time at SMU. Freshman Janelle Giordano is seventh in the league with 74 blocks. SMU has 186.0 blocks on the season, including a season-high 13.5 against San Francisco.

Caroline Young leads the Mustangs in kills, 279, aces, 29, and points, 335.0. She ranks fifth in the American with 3.40 kills per set, and is third the league with 3.55 per set in conference matches. Her 29 aces are tied for first overall. The junior also has 135 digs, including a season-high 15 at Rutgers for her second of four double-doubles on the season, and 53 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. She has earned two conference Player of the Week awards this season.

While the Mustangs are averaging just 13.37 digs per set this season, Morgan Heise is averaging more than 25 percent of the team's digs. The freshman libero has 295 digs, ranking 10th in the American with 3.60 per set. She has posted at least 10 digs in 18 matches, including 16 of the last 17, with a season-high 18 three times, including two conference matches. She has 128 digs in American matches, averaging 3.88 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 20 matches with six starts, and has scored 97 kills as one of four players to see time as a left side hitter. She also has 43 digs and 16 blocks. Morgan Heise has played every set at libero for SMU this season, and ranks 10th in the American with 3.60 digs per set. Janelle Giordano has also started every match, splitting rotations with senior middle blocker Maddie Lozano. Giordano has 74 blocks, seventh in the league, and is fifth in the conference with a .285 attack percentage.

In her first start of the season, senior Caroline Daly scored season highs with five kills and five blocks in SMU's 3-0 win against UCF. She followed it up with four kills and six blocks in a 4-1 win against Houston playing three sets in her second start of the season. She now has 12 kills and 17 blocks in 14 sets this year.

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).

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.