Volleyball Eagles Finish Second in Southern Miss Invitational - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Volleyball Eagles Finish Second in Southern Miss Invitational

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The Southern Miss volleyball team split matches on Saturday in the Southern Miss Invitational to finish with a 2-1 record.

Mary Pursell and Jasmine Crowell were named to the all-tournament team after solid performances.

In the Eagles' first match, three players record double digit kills en route to a 3-0 (28-26, 25-20, 25-14) sweep of Troy.

Lydia Bonner paced three Eagles with a match-high 13 kills followed by Quinci Hayward with 11 and Jasmine Crowell added 10. Mary Pursell tallied a career and match-high 21 digs. Kristen Fleming recorded her first double-double with 37 assists and 11 digs.

Both team battled in the first set with neither team gaining more than a three-point advantage throughout. The set was evenly played as Southern Miss finished with 20 kills while Troy had 19. The Golden Eagles out-hit the Trojans .300 to .250. USM took the first set, 28-26.

The Golden Eagles tallied 17 kills on .205 hitting in posting a 25-20 win in the second set. Southern Miss used a 9-0 run to take a lead they the Eagles would not relinquish. The Eagles led by as many as 21-12 before Troy cut the lead to 22-19 but could get no closer.

In the final set, the Golden Eagles used a .423 hitting percentage in totaling 13 kills on 26 attempts. The Eagle defense held Troy to eight kills and a .061 hitting percentage on their way to a 25-14 win in the sweep of the Trojans.

Marija Zelenovic led Troy with 10 kills while Courtney Cohen had 14 digs.

In the final match of the day, Stephen F. Austin defeated Southern Miss in three straight games by the score of 25-19, 25-22, 25-14 to win the Southern Miss Invitational.

Hayward recorded 12 kills while Fleming added another double-double with 26 assists and 13 digs.

The Ladyjacks posted 46 kills to 34 for the Eagles and recorded six aces. SFA defense held the Eagles to 34 kills on .107 hitting.

Kaitlyn Granger and Jacque Allen led SFA with 11 and 10 kills, respectively while Madison Martin and OJ Olson tallied 13 digs each.

Stephen F. Austin out-scored Southern Miss, 7-1 over the final eight points to take a 25-19 win.

The two teams battled in the second set but timely blocking kept the Golden Eagles at bay to help post a 25-22 win for the Ladyjacks.

In the final set, the Golden Eagles didn't get their offense on track and finished with a .057 hitting percentage while recording only 10 kills.

Southern Miss returns to action on Tuesday when the Golden Eagles host UNO at 7 p.m.

Joining Pursell and Crowell on the all-tournament team were Courtney Cohen of Troy, Paige Williams of Jackson State, Jill Ivy and Paige Holland of SFA with OJ Olson earning MVP honors.

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