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Volleyball Claims 3-0 Victory Over Louisiana Tech

Halie Ecker notched a match-high 16 kills

Aug. 25, 2012

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Senior Halie Ecker posted a match-high 16 kills on a .484 attack percentage to go with two aces and seven digs in leading the Golden Eagles past Louisiana Tech,3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-15) on Saturday in the Southern Miss Invitational.

Southern Miss finished with a 1-2 record while Central Arkansas claimed the tournament title with a 3-0 record. South Alabama finished with a 2-1 record and Louisiana Tech 0-3.

Sophomore Jasmine Crowell tallied 14 kills and freshman Lydia Bonner put down 12 kills for USM. Sophomore Alex Pfefferle came up with 11 digs and four aces while Kristen Fleming distributed 37 assists.

"This first win was huge for us," coach Abbey Sutherland said. "This is the first time that we played together as a team. They started to trust each other and there was no panicking. They believed in themselves and I'm hopeful that will carry over in future matches."

Southern Miss popped out to a 6-2 lead before Louisiana was able to reel them in using a 6-3 run to tie the set at 9-9. The teams traded points before the Golden Eagles scored five of six points in taking a 15-12 lead. Southern Miss pushed the lead to 20-15 forcing the Techsters into a timeout. The visitors responded with a pair of kills before the Eagles took a timeout. The momentum switched into USM's favor as the Golden Eagles were able to hold on for the 25-22 win.

Louisiana Tech scored the opening point in the second set before USM reeled off eight of the next 10 for the 8-3 lead. That was all the Eagles needed to keep their momentum going on their way to a 25-14 win. USM hit .370 while hold Tech to .040 percentage.

The momentum carried the Golden Eagles into the third set as USM led 9-2 early. Tech was able to cut the lead to 17-14 but that was as close as they would get. Southern Miss finished the set using an 8-1 run to close out the set, 25-15.

"We were more offensively sound especially Jasmine and Halie," said Sutherland. "They were difference makers. Our service game was much improved. Before, we were making errors because we were afraid of making errors. We wanted to service aggressively but smart. Our defensive was a huge improvement. We out dug them and that should always be a goal of ours."

Dalane Guidry led Louisiana Tech with seven kills while Caitlin Germany added six. Maria Coelho netted 24 assists. Stephany Salas registered 12 digs.

Southern Miss hits the road for the first of three tournaments when the Golden Eagles travel to Lafayette, La., for the Bon Temps Invitational hosted Louisiana. USM opens the tournament against Houston Baptist at 9 a.m., then face McNeese State at 12:30 p.m. and conclude with Louisiana at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Southern Miss Invitational All-Tournament Team

Central Arkansas - team title

All-Tournament Team
Taylor Hammonds - MVP
Marissa Collins - UCA
Jessica Nagy - UCA
Jenna Hassell -USA
Olivia Mohler - USA
Halie Ecker - USM
Jasmine Crowell - USM
Maria Coehlo - LA Tech

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