MEMPHIS, Tenn. (SMU) – Four Mustangs finished with at least 10 kills to lead SMU to a 3-1 win at Memphis Friday night (25-13, 24-26, 25-11, 25-17). Abbey Bybel led the team with a match-high 15 kills, and Caroline Young had 14, reaching double digits for the 10th time in the last 11 matches. Maddie Lozano and freshman Kristen Stehling each finished with 11.
The Mustangs improved to 12-6 overall, 4-1 in the American Athletic Conference, and dropped Memphis to 9-8 overall and 1-3 in American matches, beating the Tigers on their home floor for the first time in SMU history. Avery Acker posted her seventh double-double of the season with 56 assists and 10 digs, and freshman Morgan Heise matched her season high with 18 digs.
SMU quickly took a 10-5 lead in the fourth set, and stretched the
lead to seven four points later, 13-6. The Tigers never got within five points the rest of the way. Heise served the last to points as SMU scored three straight to end the match with a 25-17 win in the set for its third road win in conference play. The Mustangs hit .354 in the match, and finished with 62 digs and 60 kills.
In the second set, the Mustangs rallied for five straight points to tie the score, 12-12. With the score still tied at 17, SMU scored three straight to get to within five points of a 2-0 lead in the match. The lead was still three when Young scored a kill to give SMU a 22-19 lead, but it was the Tigers with the first attempt at set point, leading 24-23. Out of an SMU timeout, Young got the kill to tie the score. On the next point, a Memphis attack by Catlin Lilly went long, but the call was overruled and called a touch on SMU, awarding the Tigers a second attempt to win the set. The next serve dropped just in from of Heise, giving Memphis a 26-24 win to tie the match 1-1.
With the emotions from the second set still visible, SMU started the third set with a 6-1 run for a 6-2 lead after starting a point behind for a red card on the SMU coaching staff. Memphis cut the lead to two, 9-7, but the Mustangs used a 14-1 run to take a 24-9 lead. The Tigers scored two points before Young and Lozano blocked the Memphis attack for a 25-11 win. SMU scored five straight to start its run, then rallied off nine straight points for the 15-point lead. Bybel and Young each had 10 kills after three sets, and Heise had 14 digs.
After the Tigers scored the first point of the match, SMU scored five straight to force a Memphis timeout. Out of the break, the Tigers kept the lead from getting any bigger until Bybel served seven straight points to give the Mustangs a 14-4 lead. SMU led by as many as 13 on its way to a 25-13 win, hitting .419 as a team. Every SMU attacker was hitting at least .250, with Young and Lozano leading the charge with four kills each.
The Mustangs conclude the road trip Sunday against Temple in Philadelphia, Pa., at 12 p.m. CT. SMU returns home to the Dedman Center Friday at 7 p.m. to host USF. On Sunday, Oct. 20, UCF will be the opponent for SMU’s annual Dig Pink match, an effort to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research.