HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Southern Miss volleyball team captured a three-game win over UNOI (25-12, 25-15, 25-19) Tuesday night in Reed Green Coliseum. The Golden Eagles improve to 3-1 while the Privateers fell to 0-4.
"I thought our serving was very tough tonight," Head Coach Amanda Berkley said. "Shelby Russell did a great with four aces and also had nine digs. We did a better job of shutting down hitters and getting good blocks as the match progressed."
Freshman outside hitter Stephany Purdue (Mesa, Ariz.) and junior outside hitter Jasmine Crowell (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) paced the Golden Eagles with nine kills apiece on .348 and .333 hitting, respectively. As a team, Southern Miss attacked at a .345 clip, with six players hitting .300 or better.
Junior setter Kristen Fleming (Columbus, Ga.) dished out 33 assists as Shelby Russell (Niceville, Fla.) led the defense with a match-high nine digs and sophomore Mary Pursell (Kenner, La.) picked up eight digs.
The Golden Eagles also claimed the blocking battle, 8.0 to 1.0. Crowell, Fleming and Elise Ames tallied four stuffs apiece.
Southern Miss sprinted out to a 7-1 lead with Russell serving up six straight points. For the set, Russell served 11 points. Southern Miss collected 15 kills on .370 hitting while UNO posted five on -.048 hitting in a 25-12 win.
Three aces, two kills and one UNO error put the Golden Eagles up 6-1 in the second set. Southern Miss eventually pushed the lead to 20-9 before UNO scored four straight points to get the score to 20-13. Southern Miss ended the match on a 5-2 run for the 25-15 win.
UNO came out battling in the third set forcing six ties and two lead changes. The match remained close through the first 17 points before the Golden Eagles used a 4-0 run to put a little breathing room between the two teams. However, UNO would not go down quietly as the Privateers battled back to get the score to 21-19 before the Eagles ended the set scoring the final four points for the 25-19 win.
"We have two tough matches this weekend with Georgia and Villanova," Berkley said. "Both teams have athletes and we have to find a way to compete."
Southern Miss takes to the road for a pair of matches in the Nebraska Tournament, Sept. 6-7, against Georgia and Villianova. The contest with the Bulldogs is set for 4:30 p.m. on Friday and the match against the Wildcats is 3 p.m. on Saturday.