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Volleyball Eagles Survive Southeastern Louisiana in Four Sets, 3-1

Sept. 1, 2015

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HATTIESBURG, Miss.- Junior Stephany Purdue netted a match-high 25 kills to go with 11 digs and freshman Kylie Grandy added 12 kills and 17 digs in helping Southern Miss get past Southeastern Louisiana 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-16, 25-29) in non-conference action Tuesday night.

Southern Miss improved to 4-0 while Southeastern Louisiana dropped to 1-3.

"The team rallied back and believed they could win after being down in that first set," Head Coach Amanda Berkley said. "They were able to find a way to get the set win. Stephany and Kylie did a really nice job in the third and fourth set by getting kills when we needed them. Mary Pursell had a really nice game with a match high 29 digs."

Pursell had a match high 29 digs while freshman Sarah Bell tallied 43 assists 10 digs. Bell, Grandy and Shelby Russell also recorded two aces each. Elise Ames registered five total blocks.

The home team finished with 55 kills on a .214 hitting clip to go with 75 digs and 11.0 team blocks. SLU had 53 kills on a .143 hitting clip, 71 digs and 7.0 team blocks.

Southern Miss scored three of the first four points to start the first set. Both teams then went back and forth, exchanging points until the Golden Eagles were able to take a 14-10 lead. The Lady Lions and Eagles scored two points apiece before Southeastern called the first timeout of the match, trailing 16-12. The Lady Lions then went on a 10-3 run following the timeout to take the lead the set 22-19. Coming out of a timeout, the Golden Eagles bounced back and scored two of the next three points to get within 23-21. SLU burned its final timeout, but quickly added point for the 24-21 lead. However, the Black and Gold got a much needed kill from Bell followed by a combo block from Rachel Johnson and Kelsey Chambers and a setting error by the Lions to even the set at 24-24. The set ended with back-to-back attack errors from the visitors, giving Southern Miss a 26-24 win.

Both team battled back and forth to start the second set through the first 22 points with the scored knotted at 11-11. Southeastern then scored three straight in taking a 14-11 lead. Southern Miss fought back to tie the set at 14-14. That started a back-and-forth battle for the next eight points. SLU tacked on a pair of points, forcing the Eagles to take a timeout. The Lions kept the pressure on, building a 23-20 lead before Southern Miss got back-to-back kills from Purdue and a block from Ames to tie the set at 23-23. Southeastern ended the set with a pair of kills for the 25-23 win.

Southern Miss went up early to start the third set, but Southeastern came right back to tie the set a 4-4. The Golden Eagles then used a 7-4 run for the 11-7 lead. Southeastern was able to cut the lead to 13-12, but the home team added three straight points for the 16-12 lead. Southern Miss ended the set scoring nine of the final 13 points for the 25-16 win. The Golden Eagles totaled 13 kills on a .344 hitting clip in the set while holding Southeastern to .132 hitting.

After opening the fourth set scoring seven of the first 11 points, the Golden Eagles never trailed due in part to an 11-kill performance by Purdue on 15 swings and hitting .733 in the process. However, timely hitting and blocking kept the Lady Lions within striking distance. After Southeastern cut the lead to 17-16, Purdue added a kill and Russell recorded back to back aces in helping the Eagles take a 21-16 lead. Southern Miss scored four of the final seven points for the 25-19 win.

Landry Bullock led the Lady Lions with 16 kills while Monica Ramon and Tiffany Thomas added 17 and 15 digs, respectively.

Southern Miss will now travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Bama Bash Sept. 4-5. The Golden Eagles will play College of Charleston to open the tournament on Friday at 10 a.m., followed by a matchup against Northwestern State at 5 p.m. Southern Miss will play Alabama at 9 a.m. Saturday and conclude with Tulsa at 2 p.m.

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