Nov. 6, 2013
The Last Meeting
October 6, 2013
Mustangs Defeat Cincinnati 3-0 For First Home Conference Win
DALLAS (SMU) - Caroline Young had a match-high 13 kills, and Maddie Lozano posted 10 kills, to lead the Mustangs to their seventh sweep of the season, a 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-21) win against Cincinnati in the Dedman Center Sunday afternoon.
The Last Meeting
October 4, 2013
Mustangs Suffer First Conference Loss To Louisville
DALLAS (SMU) - SMU suffered its first American Athletic Conference loss Friday night, falling 3-0 to conference preseason favorite Louisville in the Dedman Center (25-19, 25-14, 25-17). Abbey Bybel led the offensive attack for the Mustangs with 10 kills, matching Louisville's Emily Juhl for the match-high, and the SMU sophomore hit a team-high .308.
The Mustangs will play five of their last seven matches on the road, starting Friday at Cincinnati and Sunday at Louisville. SMU enters the weekend tied for second in the American Athletic Conference with an 8-3 mark, 16-8 overall, while the Cardinals lead the league with an unblemished conference record of 11-0, 16-7 overall. Cincinnati is 1-24, 1-10 in the American. The Bearcats won their first match of the season 3-2 at Rutgers to snap a 22-match losing streak before a pair of 3-1 losses at Memphis and Temple.
Caroline Young earned her third American Athletic Conference Player of the Week award after leading the Mustangs to a season sweep of Rutgers and Connecticut at home. The junior is third in the league with 3.44 kills per set and has 303 for the season. In conference matches, SMU is the third-highest rated offense behind Louisville, hitting .230 with 12.67 kills per set.
Ciara Hill leads Cincinnati with 2.70 kills per set, but Breanna Barksdale is the only player on the team hitting above .200, averaging 1.65 kills per set with a .214 attack percentage. The Bearcats have been swept 14 times this season, including a 3-0 loss to the Mustangs in Dallas on Oct. 6, but have won at least a set in six of their last seven matches.
The Cardinals have won 14 of their last 15 matches after starting the season 2-6. Freshman Maya McClendon leads the team with 3.08 kills per set, and is third in the league in American matches with 3.51 per set. She is one of four Cardinals averaging at least two kills per set. Louisville is hitting a league-leading .247, with Randi Ewing hitting .393 and averaging 1.88 kills. Brooke Mattingly is hitting .373 with 2.55 kills per set.
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 completed the season sweep against UConn Sunday, beating the Huskies 3-0 for the second time.
ON THE MARK
The Mustangs are third in the American Athletic Conference, hitting .231 as a team. In conference matches, SMU is hitting .230, which ranks second. Freshman Janelle Giordano leads the team and ranks seventh in the league, hitting .283. Junior Caroline Young leads the team with 3.44 kills per set and ranks eighth in the American with a .281 attack percentage.
Avery Acker is second in the American Athletic Conference and 33rd in the NCAA, averaging 11.01 assists per set. She has 914 on the season, needing 86 to become the sixth player in program history with 1,000 assists in a season, and recorded a career-high 57 in a four-set win against Davidson. The sophomore is leading the American with 443 assists in league matches, averaging 11.36 assists 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.
OFF THE BLOCK
The Mustangs are fourth in the American Athletic Conference with 2.32 blocks per set, and SMU has 103.5 blocks in American matches. Maddie Lozano is sixth in the league with 1.11 blocks per set, and has 91 total blocks. She has 223 in just two seasons on the Hilltop, passing Kelly Larkan for 10th all-time at SMU. The senior needs 46 blocks to pass Dana Powell (268 from 2008-11) for ninth at SMU. Freshman Janelle Giordano is seventh in the league with 81 blocks. SMU has 204.0 blocks on the season, including a season-high 13.5 against San Francisco.
Caroline Young leads the Mustangs in kills, 303, aces, 32, and points, 363.5. She ranks third in the American with 3.44 kills per set, and is second the league with 3.62 per set in conference matches. Her 32 aces are tied for first overall. The junior also has 145 digs, including a season-high 15 at Rutgers for her second of four double-doubles on the season, and 56 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 three conference Player of the Week awards this season, one of just three American players to win the award multiple times.
THE DIFFERENT JERSEY
While the Mustangs are averaging just 13.32 digs per set this season, Morgan Heise is averaging more than 25 percent of the team's digs. The freshman libero has 314 digs, ranking 10th in the American with 3.57 per set. She has posted at least 10 digs in 19 matches, including 17 of the last 19, with a season-high 18 three times, including two conference matches. She has 147 digs in American matches. 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 21 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 3.57 digs per set. Janelle Giordano has also started every match, splitting rotations with senior middle blocker Maddie Lozano. Giordano has 81 blocks, seventh in the league, and is seventh in the conference with a .283 attack percentage.
MAKING IT COUNT
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.
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.