DALLAS (SMU) – The Mustangs open the 2011 season against Oklahoma Friday night in the opening round of the Nike Invitational hosted by the University of Oklahoma. On Saturday, SMU will face Missouri State before wrapping up the first weekend of action against Oral Roberts.
SMU won a school-record 25 matches last season next to just six losses, finishing second in Conference USA with a 17-3 mark. The Mustangs lost just two starters from last year’s squad, Kathryn Wilkerson and Caitlin Adair, but the four returning starters and the libero have each already etched their names into the SMU record books.
Oklahoma went 23-11 last season, 13-7 Big XII, and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual National Champion Penn State. A majority of the OU offense runs through senior Suzy Boulavsky, who was the only Sooner with more than 300 kills last season with 445. The Sooners return their top-four leaders in kills from last season, and OU opens the season ranked No. 16 in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
Missouri State advanced to the NCAA Tournament with a 21-10 overall record, 12-6 MVC, led by Christine McCartney. As a freshman, McCartney had 326 kills in 98 sets played. Oral Roberts posted a 12-14 record in 2010. The young squad, which doesn’t have any seniors, lost just two starters from last season and returns eight letterwinners.