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Mustangs Come Up Short In Second-Round Loss At No. 4 Texas
AUSTIN, Texas (SMU) – The SMU volleyball team was eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 3-0 loss at No. 4 Texas Saturday night (25-15, 25-18, 25-12). The Mustangs ended the seasons with a 26-8 record, one win shy of the program record, and won the American Athletic Conference championship for the second straight season.
The 2016 senior class won 101 matches during its career, including the program's first NCAA Tournament win with a sweep against Texas A&M Friday night, but it could not get past the Longhorns, who have advanced to the Final Four 11 times. Texas advanced to the Sweet 16 without dropping a set, playing the first two rounds at home.
Texas improved to 24-4 overall, making sure the match didn't go any longer than the minimum three sets with a dominant 25-12 win in the third set. Katie Hegarty scored 11 kills for the Mustangs, reaching double figures in both postseason matches, but SMU was out-scored 52-35 on the attack. The Longhorns hit .438, committing just six errors in 105 attempts. Morgan Heise had 13 digs, and Lauren Mills recorded 10 digs with seven kills. Janelle Giordano scored eight kills and two blocks in her final match. Kristen Stehling had five kills, and Brittany Adams added three, playing in her hometown.
Ebony Nwanebu led Texas with 15 kills, hitting .577, and Paulina Prieto Cerame scored 14. Micaya White also reached double figures for Texas, scoring 13 kills. The Longhorns had eight blocks, while SMU posted just two.
SMU trailed by one in the second set, 15-14, but again it was a mid-set run by the Longhorns that made all the difference. Texas went on a 7-1 run, getting four kills from Prieto Cerame during the stretch, to take a 22-15 lead. SMU scored three kills on the next four points before Texas got back-to-back kills from Ebony Nwanebu to end the set, winning 25-18.
The Mustangs scored the first three points of the first set, and were tied with the Longhorns midway through, 10-10. After that point, Texas scored eight kills with no errors, while SMU was limited to just five more points, falling 25-15 in the first set. Hegarty scored five of SMU's 13 kills, but the Mustangs were held to a .167 attack percentage, while the Longhorns hit .378 with 16 kills.
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