HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Southern Miss Golden Eagles swept Southern University in three straight sets by a score of 25-17, 25-15, 25-7, improving to 2-0 in their first match of the day in the Southern Miss Invitational Saturday afternoon.
Junior Stephany Purdue recorded a match high 17 kills just missing a double-double with nine digs. Freshman Sarah Bell, sophomore Natalie Druhan, and senior Mary Pursell all had eight digs. Bell led Southern Miss with 28 assists. Druhan and freshman Kylie Grandy recorded two service aces.
Southern University got off to a quick start scoring four of the first six points. Southern Miss came back from that deficit to go up 13-9 causing Southern University to call their first timeout in the match. Southern Miss was up 20-16 when Southern University called another timeout. To finish off the set, Southern Miss went on a 5-1 run, winning the set 25-17.
After the Golden Eagles took a 3-2 lead, Southern University went on a 4-1 run to go up 6-4. Southern Miss worked to take the lead away from Southern, forcing the Jaguars to take a timeout down 14-10. Southern Miss then outscored Southern 7-5 to increase their lead 21-15. That increase in the lead forced Southern University to take another timeout. Southern Miss finished off the set scoring the final four points for the 25-15 win.
Set three was another back and forth exchange through the first eight points, where both teams were tied up 4-4. Southern Miss went on a 7-0 run before Southern U. called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Golden Eagles continued their scoring run to lead 16-5. Southern Miss finished the match on a 9-2 run, winning 25-7.
Southern University's Diamond Williams had a match high 19 digs. Melodie Malone led Southern with 5 kills. Keandra Williams and Chinasa Ekweariri both had 4 kills. Mariah Clayton led the Jaguars with 12 assists.
The Golden Eagles resume tournament play tonight at 6 p.m. against Nicholls to conclude the Southern Miss Invitational.
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