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Volleyball swept at USD Invitational

Postby PonyPride » Sat Sep 10, 2022 1:34 am

From SMUMustangs.com:

SAN DIEGO – SMU suffered a pair of setbacks on the first day of the USD Invitational at the Jenny Craig Pavilion Friday.

The Mustangs (5-3) fell to No. 12 San Diego (22-25, 12-25, 17-25) in the tournament opener before dropping a 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 16-25) decision to Utah. The Utes ranked 22 in the AVCA preseason poll and collected votes in the first two regular season rankings.

Natalie Perdue notched 12 kills to lead the Mustangs, her sixth double-digit performance of the campaign. Jamison Wheeler tallied 10 successful attacks, the seventh time she reached 10 in a tilt this season. Celia Cullen recorded 38 assists, while Alex Glover totaled five kills and four blocks.

SMU outhit Utah .257 to .059 in the first set to grab the early advantage. In a game that featured 10 ties and three lead changes, the Mustangs moved ahead 13-12 on Wheeler kill and remained in front until the Utes knotted things at 21-21. The teams traded the next two points before SMU tallied three of the final four.

Despite eight ties in game two, Utah ramped up its offense, converting 17 of their 38 chances and never trailed after nudging ahead 5-4. After intermission, the Utes seized control with an 8-0 spurt. The Mustangs trimmed the deficit to seven at 14-7 but that's as close as they could muster.

Knotted at 9-9, SMU seemed to regain its footing and poised to send the match to a fifth and decisive set but Utah ended those hopes with a 4-0 run and held the Mustangs at bay the remainder of the contest.

In the tournament opener, No. 12 San Diego handed the Mustangs their first sweep of the season.

Perdue led the squad with nine kills, while London Austin-Roark and Marieke van der Mark added six each. Bauss moved from libero to outside hitter after the second set, totaling four successful attacks on 13 swings, four digs and 14 of 15 on receiving opportunities.

The opening set featured 16 ties and six lead changes before the Toreros closed with a 7-2 scoring run to grab the early advantage.

San Diego increased the pressure on both ends of the court in the second game, converting 92% of its side out opportunities, while holding SMU to 45%. In the final game, the Toreros closed with a 15-7 run to seal the victory.

The Mustangs take on UCONN Saturday at 5 p.m. CT, the final contest for each team at the USD Invitational, hosted by San Diego.
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