SMU SEASON PREVIEW


SMU SEASON PREVIEW
Monday, September 14, 2015 | by SMU Sports Information

The Mustangs picked up five of their seven wins at home last season, going undefeated at Sleepy P Ranch, but posting an unblemished home record in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history will be an extremely daunting task.

The young SMU squad, which lists just five seniors compared to 18 freshmen and sophomores, will be tested early, hosting rival TCU to start the fall season after an exhibition match against Baylor, a pair of teams that competed at the NCEA National Championship last season.

The schedule is full of quality opponents, with three straight meets at home to wrap up the fall season, starting with defending national champion South Carolina. The stretch features back-to-back SEC opponents, with the Mustangs hosting Auburn the day after the Gamecocks, and wraps up with Baylor. The Bears won the Big 12, and lost to South Carolina in the semifinals at the national championship.

Head coach Carol Gwin thinks her team will be up to the task. “We have a solid group of returners, and some very talented freshmen and transfers,” Gwin said. “One of our team goals is to go undefeated at home.”

The senior class includes 2015 NCEA All-America Honorable Mention award winner and Pin Oak Collegiate Invitational champion Schaefer Raposa, as well as Alex Butterworth and Kristen Schramm. Butterworth earned two Most Outstanding Performer awards last season, and Schramm earned a win at the NCEA National Championship during her career at SMU.

Gwin, who is in her second season as head coach at SMU after working as an assistant at South Carolina, is excited to see her first full recruiting class in action, especially at home against her former school. The Mustangs are just 1-5 all-time against the Gamecocks, but the win was an upset in Dallas in 2012, when the Gamecocks were ranked No. 1.

“It is important to compete against quality teams during the regular season, and I know that all of the teams we are hosting at home will bring their “A” game to Sleepy P Ranch. We will need to ride well to get a win,” said Gwin.

SMU also has a home meet against South Dakota State, as well as road competitions at Oklahoma State and New Mexico State, two teams that advanced to the NCEA National Championship last season. Oklahoma State and New Mexico State are two of five 2015 national championship qualifiers on SMU’s fall schedule, but the only two the Mustangs will face on the road. The Mustangs beat OSU at home last season, winning for the first time in the series. SMU leads the all-time series against New Mexico State 7-2, winning the last three straight. The Mustangs haven’t lost to the Aggies at home since 2006.

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