Nov. 20, 2013
The Last Meeting
October 20, 2013
Mustangs Sweep UCF Behind Solid Defensive Effort
DALLAS (SMU) - Cailin Bula finished with a match-high 12 kills and Caroline Young finished with 10 to lead the Mustangs to a sweep of UCF in the Dedman Center Sunday (25-19, 25-15, 25-21). With the win, SMU improved to 13-8 overall and 5-3 in the American Athletic Conference, while the Knights fell to 13-7, 4-3 in the American.
The Last Meeting
October 18, 2013
Bula Records Career-High 17 Kills In 3-2 Loss To USF
DALLAS (SMU) - Cailin Bula scored a career-high 17 kills, and Caroline Young finished with 16, but South Florida took the match in the fifth set, winning 3-2 (25-17, 14-25, 15-25, 25-21, 15-10). Avery Acker recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 45 assists and 14 digs, and freshman Morgan Heise had a match-high 15 digs.
The Mustangs begin a three-match road trip to finish the regular season Friday at UCF at 6 p.m. CT. SMU will also play at USF on Sunday before its final regular-season game at Houston Wednesday, Nov. 27. With an 11-4 record in American Athletic Conference matches, SMU enters the weekend second in the league, one win ahead of UCF and two wins in front of the Bulls.
In conference matches, the Mustangs rank second in the league and hold a small advantage in most offensive statistical categories, hitting .243 with 13.75 kills per set. Avery Acker also leads the league with 11.45 assists per set in American matches. The Knights are fourth with a .207 attack percentage, and rank third with 13.16 kills per set, while the Bulls are hitting .208 (3rd), and average 12.96 kills per set (5th).
Caroline Young leads the Mustangs and ranks sixth in the conference overall, averaging 3.33 kills per set, and the junior is second in the league with 34 aces. Young is one of two Mustangs in the top 10 in attack percentage, hitting .277 (7th). Janelle Giordano is sixth, hitting .297. Morgan Heise leads the defense and ranks 10th in the league, averaging 3.68 digs per set.
UCF is led Angelica Crump, who is second in the league with 3.56 kills per set, and DeLaina Sarden is hitting a conference-high .403. The Knights are 19-8 overall, and fell 3-0 at SMU in the first meeting this season. With the win, SMU improved to 8-3 all-time against UCF, and the Mustangs are 5-1 against the Knights in Orlando.
Erin Fairs leads the American, averaging 4.00 kills per set for the Bulls in league matches, and the sophomore is scoring 3.71 kills per set overall. USF is 15-13 overall, with a 3-2 win at SMU in the second meeting between the two teams. USF won the first matchup 3-1 on Sept. 7, 2002.
ON THE MARK
The Mustangs are third in the American Athletic Conference, hitting .238 as a team. In conference matches, SMU is hitting .243, which ranks second. Freshman Janelle Giordano leads the team and ranks sixth in the league, hitting .297. Junior Caroline Young leads the team with 3.33 kills per set and ranks seventh in the American with a .277 attack percentage.
Avery Acker is leads the American, averaging 11.45 assists per set in conference matches. She has 1,078 assists overall this season, becoming only the sixth player in program history with 1,000 assists in a season. Acker also became just the second player in SMU history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. The sophomore has a 3.95 GPA in business. She has finished with at least 50 assists in a match five times, including two American matches. Acker has a team-high 10 double-doubles, including six conference matches, scoring a season-high 17 digs at Rutgers with 51 assists.
OFF THE BLOCK
The Mustangs are third in the American Athletic Conference with 2.65 blocks per set in league matches, and with Maddie Lozano and freshman Janelle Giordano ranking in the top 10. Lozano is fifth in the league overall with 1.12 blocks per set, and the senior is sixth with 1.19 per set in conference matches. She has 240 in just two seasons on the Hilltop, ranking 10th all-time at SMU. The senior needs 29 blocks to pass Dana Powell (268 from 2008-11) for ninth at SMU. Freshman Janelle Giordano is seventh in league play, averaging 1.13 per set, and has 91 total blocks. SMU has 241.0 blocks on the season, including a season-high 13.5 against San Francisco.
The Mustangs are tied for second with 70 aces in conference matches, and rank fourth overall with 135. Two SMU players rank in the top 10 in the league, both overall and in American matches, led by Cailin Bula, who leads the league with 0.35 aces per set and has 26 for the season. Caroline Young is third, averaging 0.33, and she is second with 34 aces in 102 sets. Maddie Lozano is just outside the top 10 with 23 total aces, averaging 0.24 per set.
LEADING THE ATTACK
Caroline Young leads the Mustangs in kills, 340, aces, 34, and points, 407.5. She ranks sixth in the American with 3.33 kills per set, and is third the league with 3.36 per set in conference matches. Her 34 aces are second overall. The junior also has 157 digs, including a season-high 15 at Rutgers for her second of four double-doubles on the season, and 66 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, needing 13 to reach 1,000 in her career. 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 13.48 digs per set this season, Morgan Heise is averaging more than 25 percent of the team's digs. The freshman libero has 375 digs, ranking 10th in the American with 3.68 per set. She has posted at least 10 digs in 23 matches, including 21 of the last 23, with a season-high 24 at Cincinnati. She has 208 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 22 matches with six starts, and has scored 100 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 3.68 digs per set. Janelle Giordano has also started every match, splitting rotations with senior middle blocker Maddie Lozano. Giordano has 98 blocks, seventh in the league, and is sixth in the conference with a .297 attack percentage.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Mustangs went 10-2 at home this season, with a 7-2 mark in home conference matches. SMU won its last six straight at home, losing just one set, and swept eight matches in the Dedman Center this season.
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.