The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU confident in C-USA tournament

Ranked No. 6, Mustang volleyball prepares to play Tulane Green Wave Friday
The SMU volleyball team celebrates a successful point against UNT at Moody Coliseum this fall.
CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus
The SMU volleyball team celebrates a successful point against UNT at Moody Coliseum this fall.

The SMU volleyball team celebrates a successful point against UNT at Moody Coliseum this fall. (CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus)

The regular season is over, and the SMU volleyball team stands as one of the eight squads that made it to the Conference USA tournament. Due to their two losses to the University of Tulsa last weekend, the Mustangs fell to the sixth seed and will play third-seeded Tulane University.

Of the five teams ranked in front of SMU, the Mustangs have only defeated two of them during the regular season: No. 4 Rice University and No. 5 Marshall University. The Mustangs split the season series with the Owls, with the home team winning each match. The Mustangs beat the Marshall Thundering Herd at Moody in the two teams’ only meeting.

In both matches against the Tulane Green Wave, the Mustangs played solid defense but came up short. However, head coach Lisa Seifert is confident in her players and believes they could go all the way to the championships.

“I feel great about the C-USA tournament,” Seifert said. “We’re going to take a day off, then spend one day training, then hold practice two days. We’re going to play and practice with the mind set that we’ll be playing Sunday in the conference championship game.”

In their first match against the Green Wave, the Mustangs’ top two hitters, sophomores Dana Powell and Kathryn Wilkerson, were not at 100 percent. Despite this, the Mustangs almost pulled off the upset, leading in the final set, 12-10, before Tulane ran off five straight points for the victory.

In their second meeting, Powell was back to her original form, smashing a match-high 20 kills at a .354 hitting rate. However, it was not enough to topple Tulane, which claimed their second victory over the Mustangs. The difference was on the offensive side of the ball: Tulane had five players with double-digit kills, compared to SMU, which only had three.

SMU senior Kendra Kahanek, who played in her final regular season match on Saturday, recorded 19 blocks over those two matches against Tulane and will need to continue to be strong at the net if the Mustangs want to proceed through the first round. Like Seifert, Kahanek is confident that she and her teammates can go deep into the tournament.

“We have a great opportunity to win the tournament,” Kahanek said. “This team is the most talented I’ve played on and I think we can do it.”

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