SMU Volleyball Caps Off Season With Thrilling Five-Set Victory Over Tulsa

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DALLAS (SMU) – The 2011 SMU volleyball senior class went out in style Saturday, taking a 3-2 win (25-19, 20-25, 11-25, 25-8, 15-12) against Tulsa, sweeping the season for the first time since 2003. The Mustangs (15-17, 11-9 Conference USA) handed Tulsa (27-6, 18-2 C-USA) its only two losses in conference matches this season, ending the Golden Hurricane’s 26-match conference win streak with a 3-1 win on Oct. 5.

Seniors Jessica Oliver and Dana Powell paced SMU offensively, with Oliver scoring 17 kills and Powell finished with 10 and 19 digs for her 21st double-double of the season. Kelli Becerra recorded 27 assists and 12 digs for her 19th double-double of the season, and Sidney Stewart broke the SMU single-season digs record, posting 19 to finish the season with 625.

Tulsa led 2-1 after three sets, but the Mustangs responded in the fourth, taking a 5-1 lead to open the set. SMU stretched the lead to eight, 12-8, and never let Tulsa gain momentum, forcing the decisive fifth set.

The Mustangs scored the first three points of the final set, with Oliver scoring a pair of kills, but Tulsa rallied to take the lead 6-5. It was the last time the Golden Hurricane would hold the lead. SMU bounced right back to score the next three points, with Caroline Young and Caroline Daly combining for back-to-back blocks, to take an 8-6 lead. The match consisted of four ties over the next 10 points, resulting in a 12-12 score. The Mustangs scored the next three points to end the match with the 15-12 win. It was Young, named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team earlier in the week, who scored the final kill.

SMU posted 15.0 blocks as a team, led by Daly’s nine blocks. Courtney Manning finished with eight kills and six blocks. The junior finished the year with 176 total blocks, a new school record. Young posted seven kills and two blocks.

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