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

SMU perfect over weekend matches

The SMU volleyball team, in the midst of a crowded playoff race for eight spots in the Conference USA tournament, put up a solid defensive effort this past weekend without dropping a single set against University of Alabama-Birmingham and Memphis University.

The Mustangs began the weekend with sole possession of seventh place in C-USA, but to put it in perspective, only five matches separated first place from 12th place, meaning there was no room for error. UAB was in a three-way tie for fourth but were only a single game ahead of SMU, making their match a pivotal one for playoff seeding.

SMU raced out at the beginning and struck first, taking a 6-2 lead to start things off with the Blazers in the first set. The set soon became a back and forth battle, with neither team taking more than a one-point lead. But, with their strong defense leading the way, SMU battled to take the first set, 25-23. The Blazers showed no ill effects of losing the first set, refusing to back down an inch in the second set. But, the Mustangs continued to play their style of suffocating defense and took advantage of several Blazers’ mistakes to take a 10-6 lead. UAB tried to make a late comeback, but SMU stifled it to take the second set, 25-22.

SMU’s offense, after hitting .099 for the first two sets, finally came to life in the third set to join their defense, and together they blew by UAB with a 5-0 run for the first lead, 7-1. The Blazers, who hit for .049 in the third set, could not duplicate the Mustangs’ offense and continued to hit poorly overall. The Mustangs refused to let up, stretching their lead even more, 18-7. The Blazers did not put up much of a fight after that, and SMU ended it quickly to take the set and the match (25-23, 25-22, 25-14).

Sophomore Dana Powell recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 10 kills and 17 digs, while junior Kathryn Wilkerson had a team-high 22 kills on the night.

The first set against Memphis was the closest on paper, but the Tigers never really threatened the Mustangs. SMU took the initial lead, 15-8, and kept it that way. Powell led the Mustangs with seven kills in the first set, hitting an impressive .875 for the set. The second set was close at first before SMU took over midway, scoring eight of nine points to take a 17-8 lead. Memphis attempted a comeback but had fallen too far back to pose a real threat.

The final set was actually the closest, with the Tigers going neck and neck with SMU halfway through the set. The Mustangs’ defense proved the difference though, and the Mustangs held on to win the final set and the match (25-20, 25-17, 25-18).

Powell recorded another double-double against Memphis, making it her 14th on the season. Defensively, the team totaled 12 blocks and sophomore Sidney Stewart had a match-high 17 digs.

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