Sports: End of the year doesn’t stop the SMU Mustangs

equestrianteamSix Mustangs Earn Academic All-America Accolades, 13 Named to Honor Roll: Fourteen members of the SMU equestrian team earned National Collegiate Equestrian Association academic honors, the NCEA announced. Six riders earned spots on the Beval Saddlery Academic All-America team, while 13 were named to the La Hacienda Academic Honor Roll. Schaefer Raposa, Sylvia de Toledo and Keagan Snively achieved first-team status, which is awarded to student-athletes who competed in a minimum of 70 percent of meets during the 2015-16 season, and earned a cumulative 3.5 GPA. de Toledo achieved a team-high 3.97 GPA, Raposa boasted a 3.70 and Snively maintained a 3.54.

Three Mustangs Qualify for Rio Olympic GamesNina Rangelova ’15 (Bulgaria), Rachel Nicol ’16 (Canada) and Matea Samardzic (Croatia) are headed to Brazil for the 2016 Olympic Games. Qualification rounds are ongoing but these three have already reached Olympic Qualifying Time standards in at least one event. Rangelova, current volunteer assistant coach, will be making her third appearance at an Olympics game. Nicol will be participating in her first. Samardzic who is set to join SMU for the 2016-2017 year will also be competing for the first time. Swimming action runs from Aug. 6-13 so be sure to support our Mustangs!

averyAcker Receives Presidential Award of Excellence: Avery Acker, a senior volleyball player, received the Presidential Award of Excellence: Scholar/Athlete Award at the Hilltop Excellence Awards. Acker was also named 2015-16 American Athletic Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year earlier this semester. Acker will attend medical school in the fall.

goldwomenMustangs Selected For NCAA Women’s Golf Bryan Regional: The SMU women’s golf team has been selected as one of 18 teams to compete at the NCAA Women’s Golf Regional held in Bryan, Texas, at Traditions Club May 5-7. SMU is the No.9 seed for the event. The Mustangs are seeking their first NCAA Championship appearance since 1992. The top six teams from each Regional will earn a championship berth, as well as the top three individuals from non-qualifying teams.

Sports: Chad Morris introduced as new SMU head football coach

morrisFootball: Former Clemson offensive coordinator and Texas high school football coach Chad Morris was introduced as the new head football coach at SMU at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 1. Morris was named AFCA National Assistant Coach of the Year and one of five finalists for National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by 247Sports.com in 2013, and the National Offensive Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com in 2011. Morris served as a head coach on the Texas high school level for 16 years, posting a 169-38 record overall and winning back-to-back undefeated state championships in his final two seasons at Lake Travis. In all, Morris took six of his teams to Texas State Championship Games, with three of those teams capturing state titles, and earned Coach of the Year honors 11 times.

The hire was a nice pick-me-up after a loss to in-state rival Houston on Friday, Nov. 28. Sophomore Matt Davis threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Gaines to give the Mustangs a 9-7 lead and hopes of picking up their first win. NCAA Football: Houston vs. SMUCougars running back Kenneth Farrow ran for two touchdowns, and quarterback Greg Ward Jr. added another to put Houston back on top 28-9 at the end of the third quarter. Davis had 145 yards passing for SMU, and led the Mustangs with 70 yards rushing on 20 carries. SMU will have one final shot for a win in their season finale on the road against Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 11:00 a.m. CT. The game will air on CBS Sports Network.

heiseVolleyball: It was a weekend of broken records, as SMU won a program-record 15th match at home, defeating Tulsa 3-1 on Wednesday, Nov. 26. Sophomore Janelle Giordano scored a match-high 12 kills, and junior Cailin Bula and sophomore Kristen Stehling each added 11 kills. Sopomore Morgan Heise finished with 22 digs. The Mustangs set another record for overall victories in a season, winning their 26th in a 3-0 sweep at East Carolina on Friday, Nov. 28.

Heise made program history by breaking the record for digs in a season after tallying 11 in the match, bringing her season total to 626. She passed Sydney Stewart who had 625 during the 2011 season. Senior Caroline Young led all attackers with 15 kills, in addition to 10 digs for her ninth double-double of the year. She was also named Libero of the Year in the American Athletic Conference, and was one of four Mustangs named to the all-conference team. Young and Avery Acker joined Heise on the first-team, and Giordano earned second-team honors.

yanickMen’s Basketball: Senior Yanick Moreira led SMU with 20 points and 10 rebounds in a wire-to-wire 78-72 loss to No. 25 Arkansas on Tuesday, Nov. 25. It was a game of runs as the Mustangs had an 18-6 run that pulled them within six, but then the Razorbacks responded with an 11-2 run of their own. SMU rallied again from 19 down to make the score 73-68 with 37 seconds remaining, nicmoorebut Arkansas held off the comeback.

The Mustangs bounced back the following night with a 72-59 win over Texas Southern. Junior Nic Moore scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and 3-0f-4 from beyond the arc. Moore continued his hot streak in a 63-51 victory over Monmouth on Sunday, Nov. 30, scoring 18 of the team’s first 22 points and finishing with 23 points total. Moore was named to the watch list for the 2015 Naismith Award, given to the top men’s basketball player. Moore and SMU improved their record to 4-3 on the season, and are back in action at 6:00 p.m. CT on Friday, Dec. 5 against Wyoming in Moody Coliseum. The game will be televised on ESPNews.

brameWomen’s Basketball: Freshmen Alicia Froling and Taylor Brame recorded their first career double-doubles, and junior Destynee Hives-McCray recorded her third double-double of the season in a commanding 77-46 win over Florida A&M on Friday, Nov. 28 to advance to the championship of the SMU Thanksgiving Classic. Hives-McCray finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Froling added 14 points and 10 boards, while Brame posted 11 points and 13 rebounds.hivesmccray

USC edged the Mustangs, 64-57, in the championship on Saturday, Nov. 29. Junior forward Destynee Hives-McCray scored eight points and grabbed 13 boards, earning all-tournament honors. A night after holding Florida A&M to 19.1 percent shooting, the Mustangs limited the Trojans to just 23.5% from the field in the first half. However, USC came alive in the second half, scoring 46 of their 64 points after the break. SMU’s bounced back with a 62-55 win against North Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 3 for their eighth win in nine years over the Metroplex rivals. Gabrielle Wilkins paced the Mustangs’ scoring with 15 points. SMU squares off with Arizona State on the road on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 4:00 p.m. CT.

burnettMen’s Swimming and Diving: Senior diver Devin Burnett was named the American Athletic Conference’s Diver of the Week for the second consecutive week on Tuesday, Nov. 25. The reigning conference diver of the year was honored last week for his dominating performance against TCU. This week, he was honored for third-place finishes in the one-meter, three-meter and platform dives at the Art Adamson Invitational.

Equestrian: Senior Emma Roberts and sophomore Sylvia de Toledo were named United Equestrian Riders of the Month for November. Both riders won their head-to-head matchups in November road meets against New Mexico State and South Dakota State. Roberts earned the accolade for equitation over fences. De Toledo’s second Rider of the Month honor is for equitation on the flat.

Rowing: Head rowing coach Doug Wright has announced the hiring of Paige Love as an assistant coach for the program. Love spent the last seven years coaching at White Rock Lake for Dallas United Crew, the largest juniors club rowing program in Texas. During her time at DUC, she helped double the size of their high school competitive rowing program, and coached boats that were competitive in the region and regularly qualified boats to compete at Youth Nationals. She’s had more than 30 graduating student-athletes continue to row in college.

A standout collegiate student-athlete, Love was born and raised in Dallas and received her bachelor’s degree in journalism, focusing on strategic communications, from the University of Kansas. While at KU, Love rowed for the Division I rowing program from 2002-06.