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SMU lost to TCU in Saturdays Iron Skillet game 34-17. Next years matchup is the last scheduled game in the longstanding rivalry.
SMU falls short at TCU
September 26, 2023

Mustangs win Arkansas Invitational

Heise career high leads SMU to a 3-2 win at Arkansas. (Courtesy of SMU Athletics)
Heise career high leads SMU to a 3-2 win at Arkansas. (Courtesy of SMU Athletics)

The Mustangs traveled to Fayetteville, Ark. to take on Stony Brook, South Dakota and Arkansas at the Arkansas Invite over the weekend.

SMU started strong in its first match of the Arkansas Invitational against Stony Brook with a 3-0 sweep, improving the Mustangs record 6-1.

Senior Caroline Young led the Mustangs with 22 kills and Cailin Bula followed with 11. Abbey Bybel finished with eight digs and eight kills.

SMU held Stony Brook to only 22 kills total as a team with Morgan Heise recording 12 of the Mustang’s 48 digs and Avery Acker with 11 digs and 30 assists. That marked Acker’s sixth double-double of the season.

In the first set the Seawolves came out strong scoring six of the first eight points to put them in a four point lead. SMU trailed 10-8, but went on to score six consecutive points. The Mustangs scored nine straight points, with a pair of aces from Young. SMU finished the first set on a 10-1 run to beat the Seawolves 25-13.

In the second set, the Mustangs took an early 6-2 lead with four different players scoring kills during the run. SMU pushed the lead to 15-8 and continued to lead by as many as 11 before Young scored the final kill for a 25-18 win.

Going into the third match, 2-0 over Stony Brook, the Mustangs continued to fight and kept it close. SMU scored the first four points, but the Seawolves came back to even the score at 10-10. After going back and fourth the match was tied 21-21, but the Mustangs scored three straight to put the game at 24-21. Stony Brook served into the net and the Mustangs took home the sweep.

The Mustangs then went to take on South Dakota on Saturday with yet another 3-0 sweep. Janelle Giordano lead SMU with 11 kills, while the Mustangs finished with at least 10 kills.

Bula hit .529 with 10 kills and Young reached double digits, with 10 kills, for the fourth straight match and seventh time this season. Heise finished with 16 digs and Acker recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 38 assists and 11 digs. In all close sets the Mustangs completed the sweep 25-21, 25-21 and 26-16.

The Mustangs took on Arkansas in the final game of the Arkansas invitational on Saturday night. The match was broadcasted live on the SEC network and SMU made sure to put on a show as they beat the Razorbacks 3-2.

Heise was a standout, posting a career-high 38 digs, marking the third most in a match at SMU. She was named Best Libero of the tournament, finishing with 66 digs in 11 sets over the weekend.

In the first set Young scored a kill putting the score 15-15 and then went back to serve. The Mustangs scored six more points before Arkansas got the ball back. Young had two aces with a 21-15 SMU lead. Arkansas came back and cut the lead to only three, but the Mustangs scored the next four, winning the first set, 25-18.

A serve from Young made the difference again in the second set as she scored two straight aces putting SMU ahead, 24-20.

Heise lead the defense again in the third set, but the Mustangs managed only 11 kills on offense. Arkansas went on to win the set 25-21, forcing a fourth set. The Razorbacks came out strong again in the fourth set, fighting back from a 19-12 deficit and winning 28-26. In the fifth and final set the Mustangs scored the first eight points and held it long enough to win 15-7 for their third victory of the season.

The Mustangs returned to Dallas with the first place Arkansas Invitational trophy.

You can catch the Mustangs as they continue this hot streak in Moody Coliseum to host the SMU Doubletree Classic Sept. 19 and 20.

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