Mustangs finish second in AAC play

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(Courtesy of SMU Athletics)

While most students enjoyed thanksgiving at home, SMU volleyball stayed in Dallas to continue conference play.

The first match that took place over break was against Tulsa. The Mustangs set a school-record 15th home win in their 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 24-26, 25-16) victory over the Golden Hurricane in Moody Coliseum.

The Mustangs moved to 25-6 overall, which matched the total win record set back in the 2010 season. SMU improved to 14-5 in American Athletic Conference play, while Tulsa fell to 21-9 overall and 13-6 in conference play.

In front of a crowd of 687, SMU volleyball managed to set a season attendance record of 8,625.

The first set started rocky when the Mustangs scored the first five points and Tulsa came back strong to tie the score 6-6. After a point battle, the Mustangs went a 13-4 run and ended the set in a 25-15 victory. Janelle Giordano was a powerhouse for the Mustangs scoring five kills on six attempts without an error. SMU hit .368 on the set.

In the second set, the Golden Hurricane fought hard but fell 25-21. SMU led 21-15, but Tulsa was able to rally and put the score at 22-18. Tulsa went on to score back-to-back points cutting SMU’s lead to only three. It was SMU’s Kristen Stehling who scored the kill to give the Mustangs the victory. The Mustangs recorded 17 digs and three blocks, holding Tulsa to a .061 attack percentage.

It was the third set when Tulsa came out with a 26-24 victory over the Mustangs. The Mustangs didn’t lead in the set until the end when they cut Tulsa’s lead to one, 19-18. SMU was the first to 24, but after a serve in the net from, an ace from Tulsa, and a net violation from SMU the Mustangs couldn’t pull out a victory.

The fourth was a breeze for the Mustangs ending in a 25-16 win over Tulsa.

And then on Friday, the Mustangs traveled to Greenville, N.C. to take on East Carolina. The Mustangs set a new record for victories in a season after winning its 26th in the 3-0 victory on Friday. The previous record was 25 and was set during the 2010 season.

The Mustangs have now won 10 of the last 11, winning four consecutive matches.

This put SMU at 26-6 overall on the season and 15-5 in AAC play, finishing second in the conference.

Sandout Morgan Heise made program history by breaking the record for digs in a season. Heise tallied 11 in the match, bringing her season total to 626. She passed the record of 625 set by Sydney Stewart during the 2011 season.

Caroline Young ended with 15 kills, leading all attackers. And thats not all, she recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 10 digs. Cailin Bula finished with 12 kills and four digs, while Abbey Bybel had seven kills and nine digs. Setter, Avery Acker had 39 assists and 10 digs with a season-high five kills.

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