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Golden Eagle Volleyball Team Opens Season with 3-0 Sweep of Jackson State

Shelby Russell recorded five aces

Aug 30, 2013

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HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss head coach Amanda Berkley notched her first career win after her Golden Eagles posted a 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-17) sweep of in-state rival Jackson State on Friday night in the second match of the Southern Miss Invitational.

"The team was ready to play someone other than themselves," Berkley said. "They were excited and they came out on a mission because last year it was a struggle with so many young players. They were ready to play and find a way to win."

The Golden Eagles out killed, out-hit and out dug the Tigers, tallying 41 kills on .292 attack percentage to go with 46 digs. JSU totaled 26 kills on .092 hitting percentage and had 38 digs.

Sophomore middle blocker Quinci Hayward led the attack with a match-high 13 kills. Mary Pursell led the way on the back row with a match-high 15 digs while Kristen Fleming distributed 35 assists among the hitters.

"Quinci Hayward did a nice job coming in," said Berkley. "She took some hard swings. Our freshman Stephany Purdue also did a nice job for us playing all the way around. She did a good job defensively. Our service game was really on tonight. Shelby Russell had five service aces and that was great."

Southern Miss popped out to 4-1 lead in the opening set and never looked back. Hayward tallied seven kills during the set in helping the Eagles out hit Jackson State, .407 to -.138. for the 25-12 win.

Jackson State kept set closer with its timely hitting. The Tigers tallied 11 kills to the Eagles' 10 and managed to out hit USM .212 to .188. However, it was the team's service game that kept the Golden Eagles in the set. Redshirt freshman Shelby Russell recorded five aces in leading the Golden Eagles to a 25-17 win.

Out of the intermission and after battling to a 2-2 tied, Southern Miss took control using a 7-1 run in taking a 9-3 lead. Seven different Eagles notched a kill with Hayward adding another five to her total. Pursell came up with seven digs in the 25-17 win.

Paige Williams led Jackson State with a team-high 10 kills.

Southern Miss returns to action on Saturday at 11 a.m. when the Golden Eagles face Troy. Jackson State and Stephen F. Austin open play at 9 a.m. Jackson State and Troy will face off at 1:30 while Southern Miss and Stephen F. Austin close the tournament in a 3:30 p.m. start.

In earlier action, Stephen F. Austin battled Troy to a 3-2 win.

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